M Venkaiah Naidu | PTI
New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday asked the people not to panic in the wake of the emergence of the new COVID variant, Omicron and advised them to remain vigilant and continue following COVID appropriate behaviour till the pandemic is over. He also urged them to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.
According to the statement by Vice President's Secretariat, launching Gautam Chintamani's book 'The Midway Battle: Modi's Roller-coaster Second Term' at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, the Vice President said, "The emergence of a new coronavirus strain has created renewed fears in people's minds. I would advise people not to panic but remain vigilant and keep following COVID appropriate behaviour. I also urge everyone to shed hesitancy, if any, and get themselves vaccinated at the earliest. Together, with everybody's cooperation, we will certainly be able to defeat this pandemic."
The Vice President further said that the Coronavirus pandemic has come as a big challenge for the entire human race and appreciated the world's largest vaccination drive currently underway in India.
"The Coronavirus pandemic has come as a big challenge for the entire human race, and India's efforts during the pandemic have changed the way the world looks at us. The world's largest free Covid vaccination drive is currently underway in India. We crossed the 125 Crore vaccination milestone a few days ago and this is an example of how nothing is impossible when India sets its mind," he said.
Praising Chintamani for this timely book that is based on the eventful journey of India during recent years, Naidu recognised that writing contemporary history is never an easy task. Referring to the transformational changes brought in governance over the past seven years, he said that these changes are both empowering and enabling the 1.3 billion people to deliver on their potential.
"Be it life expectancy, financial inclusion, access to healthcare, employment, owning a house, or honouring entrepreneurial ability, the quality of Indian lives is getting better with each passing day," he said.
Quoting the Prime Minister's three-word mantra - reform, perform and transform-- the Vice President praised the progress made by the nation over the past few years in various fields such as financial inclusion, insurance coverage, number of LPG connections for poor women and tap water connection to households.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a three word mantra - reform, perform and transform. In this spirit, every sector in the country today is witnessing an unprecedented change and reform. In the last seven years, setting a world record in financial inclusion, more than 430 million people have been connected to the banking system in India," he said.
"Over the same period, more than 360 million, most of them from underprivileged backgrounds, have been provided insurance cover, 87 million women from Below Poverty Line households have been given LPG connections and 52 million households supplied with tap water connection. Stating these statistics is one thing, but comprehending how these pro-poor and people-centric initiatives affect and change people's lives is entirely different," he added.