'Pained that many died in second wave,' says President Kovind on eve of I-Day
New Delhi, Aug 14: President Ram Nath Kovind expresses gief over loss of lives during the second wave of coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the nation on the eve of the Independence Day, President Kovind said "Like last year, this year too, the scale of Independence Day celebration may have been reduced due to pandemic, yet our hearts remain always filled with enthusiasm. The intensity of the pandemic has come down, but the coronavirus has not yet gone away. We are yet to come out of the devastating effects of its recurrence this year."
"Last year, with exceptional efforts from all, we had succeeded in bringing the spread of infections under control. Our scientists had succeeded in developing vaccines in a very short time. Therefore, at the beginning of this year, there was every reason to be hopeful as we launched the largest vaccination exercise in history. Yet, due to the new variants and other unexpected factors, we suffered from a terrible second wave," siad President Kovind.
"I am deeply sad that many lives could not be saved and many more suffered immensely in this phase of an unprecedented crisis. I speak for the whole nation when I say that I share the grief of all the affected families with the same intensity," he added.
"The science is coping with this invisible enemy of terrible might with remarkable speed. We can take solace from the fact that more lives have been saved than the lives lost. It was our collective determination to overcome the challenge that helped us see the weakening of the second wave. Once again, our corona warriors, the doctors, nurses and health workers, the administrators, and others, risked everything to contain the impact of the second wave," the President said.
"The second wave brought our public healthcare infrastructure under stress. The reality is that no infrastructure, even of advanced economies, could withstand a crisis of such enormous proportions. Efforts were made on war-footing to plug the gaps. The leadership rose to the challenge, and the government's endeavours were supplemented by initiatives of the states, private sector healthcare facilities, the civil society and others, President Kovind said.
"In this extraordinary mission, foreign nations shared the essentials generously, just as India had reached out to many nations with medicine, equipment and vaccines. I am grateful to the global fraternity that came forward with a helping hand, he said.
"Due to these efforts, the nation breathes a sigh of relief with the return of a semblance of normalcy. If we have learned our lessons well, we know that this is the time of extra care and caution. We shall not let our guard down. Vaccines are the best possible protection science offers to us. Under the world's biggest vaccination campaign going on in our country, more than 50 crore fellow citizens have been vaccinated so far. I urge all eligible citizens who are yet to get vaccinated to do so at the earliest and also inspire others," he concluded.