The COVID-19 crisis is the worst pandemic the world has seen in the last 100 years, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (May 30) as part of his monthly radio address to the nation.
In this 77th edition of his Mann Ki Baat, the PM also took the opportunity to salute the remarkable role played by frontline workers in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. He went on to highlight the fact that during normal times, India used to produce 900 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in a day. “Now it has increased more than 10 times, about 9,500 metric tonnes is being produced every day,” he said.
It was a challenge to provide medical grade oxygen to remote areas during the second wave of COVID-19 but the Indian Air Force, the railways, tanker drivers and people from all walks of life worked overtime to ensure that it was delivered to those in need on time, reiterated the PM. He especially lauded the drivers of cryogenic oxygen tankers who helped by working on a war footing and saved the lives of lakhs of people.
“Work of transporting empty tankers to oxygen plants by Air Force planes is being done, while the work of making new oxygen plants is also being completed,” said PM Modi. He said despite the pandemic, the farmers ensured record crop production and the government also made record procurement.
Further, PM Modi also talked about the two major cyclones that devastated parts of India this month. “In this difficult and extraordinary situation of calamity, the way the people of all the states affected by the cyclone have shown courage, in this hour of crisis, with great patience, discipline — I want to appreciate all citizens,” he said.
The PM’s Mann Ki baat monthly address on Sunday significantly coincided with the seventh anniversary of the PM Modi-led BJP government at the Centre. And PM Modi touched on the topic stating that his government had always followed the philosophy of “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas” while governing the country.
“There have been many moments of national pride,” he said, reported PTI. Apart from many successes, there were some stern tests as well, he said, referring to the pandemic. The nation fought its first wave with courage, and this too will be defeated, he asserted. According to the PM, more lives have been saved now as compared to the various natural disasters in the past.
The Centre and the states were working together to reduce the sufferings of the people, he he pointed out.
Modi spoke with a liquid oxygen tanker driver, a woman railway driver and an air force officer involved in transportation of oxygen and related equipment to drive home the point about how people had worked overtime to ensure oxygen reaches people in need.
In his conversation with the female driver of an oxygen express train, PM Modi said that every Indian should feel proud that one oxygen express is being run fully by women.
He added, “We have seen how doctors, nurses have left everything and have been working effortlessly to save people. In such challenging times, the Indian Railways has also come forward to ease the transportation of oxygen. An oxygen express train is run entirely by women. Every woman of the country will be proud of this.”
He said despite the pandemic, the farmers too ensured record production of crop and the government also made record procurement. PM Modi’s address comes even as India records 2 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases and 3,000 deaths every day.
Meanwhile, reacting to PM’s address, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted that to fight against COVID-19, one needs “right intention, policy, determination” and not meaningless talks once a month.