Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Thursday that the country had “controlled” the second wave of the coronavirus “in a very short time”, attributing the success to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Virtually inaugurating nine oxygen plants set up by an organisation in Gujarat, Shah said, “Jab corona ki doosri lahar aayi aur virus ne apna swaroop badal kar badi tezi se phailna shuru kiya — na keval tezi se phailna shuru kiya, iske saath-saath manav ki sehat par bhi bahut tezi se nuksan pahunchane ka iss baar uska lakshan dekha gaya — phir bhi iss ko bahut kam samay ke andar niyantrit kar ke dhalan ki aur le jaane mein hum sab ko ek samoohik safalta mili hai (When the second wave came and the virus mutated, started spreading rapidly — not just spreading rapidly but also affecting people fast and in a much worse manner — still, in a short time, controlling it and ensuring it declines, is a collective success for us).”
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani too said that while India had tackled the pandemic first wave successfully, the second wave was now controlled and the state had started preparations for a third wave.
Shah said this was not a mean achievement in a country the size of India, adding that while “there would not be reports in media from other countries… when you go through electronic or social media you will see that arrangements in very developed countries crumbled”.
“It seems nature is testing India as both its east and west corners were affected by cyclones, along with other struggles. As it is said, leadership and social organisations are tested during difficult times… And I am glad to say that in the time of difficulty, the country, under the leadership of PM Modi… when you compare with the world… has achieved huge success against Covid.”
Adding that he shared the grief of those who had lost near and dear ones, or saw them suffer in hospitals, Shah said, “In India we fought this battle with planning and courage… Here fighting alongside the government were 135 crore Indians, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.”
With the government’s vaccination policy facing criticism from courts and the Opposition across states, Shah said India had set a “world record” in fastest vaccination, and that the PM aimed to cover maximum people in minimum time.
“More than 21 crore Indians have been vaccinated. This is a record in the world of fastest vaccination. In coming days we will make it faster. PM Modi wishes that in minimum time the huge population of the country should be covered with vaccination protection and I am confident with his previous experience he will achieve this too,” he said.
The Home Minister said one of the biggest challenges the Modi government and states faced was oxygen supply, with the demand increasing ten-fold, from 1,000 metric tonnes daily to 10,000 metric tonnes. “As the virus mutated, patients needed 10-15 litres of oxygen,” he said, adding that meeting the demand within a month was a challenge.
“But under PM Modi’s leadership, the Indian government and all the state governments accepted this challenge,” Shah said, listing the efforts to increase oxygen supply, including through plants and concentrators using PM-CARES fund.
Saying the decline in oxygen requirement now was one of the signs that the pandemic was abating, Shah said. “Today the good news is that gradually this pandemic is on the decline. Patients are lesser and recoveries are more. The oxygen requirement has declined to 3,500 metric tonnes.”
Rupani too praised the PM. “Gujarat is fortunate that under Modi’s leadership, from the date when he was the CM till now, industrial development has happened, due to which oxygen was available in the state. This time too, Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not let Gujarat face any oxygen shortage,” he said.
The nine plants by the Vallabh Youth Organisation which Shah inaugurated Thursday are being set up in Tilakvada, Sagbara, Ahmedabad, Daskroi, Kalavad, Kapdvanj, Mehsana, Bhanvad and Porbandar.