New Delhi, February 18, 2021 :
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare delivered the valedictory address to the participants of the workshop on ‘Exchange of Good Practices in tackling COVID pandemic and the way forward’ which was held today with participation of Health Secretaries and Technical Heads of COVID19 management programme of India and 9 neighbouring countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.
Honourable Prime Minister of India delivered the inaugural address to the participants.
The valedictory remarks of the Union Health Minister were as follows:
Dear friends and colleagues,
I thank you all for your enthusiastic participation in this Workshop on COVID-19 Management and its challenges, where you have shared your experiences, good practices and the way forward. I feel privileged to be addressing all of you as you are all dedicated and dynamic leaders and drivers of Public Health from across 10 nations.
We have all discussed how the pandemic has made humanity acutely aware of theconsequences of ignoring the strengthening and preparedness of our healthcare systems. It has taught us that in such times of global crisis both risk management and mitigation require further strengthening of global partnerships to re-vitalise interest and investment in global public health, which is exactly why we are all here today discussing further global solidarity.
Hon’ble Prime Minister ShriNarendraModiji has spoken at length about how India was amongst the first nations to gauge the impending danger and initiate a lightning response. Under his able leadership, we acted with scale and determination to tackle the challenges. Despite many constraints, India managed to keep its cases per million as well as the number of deaths at figures that were lowest across the world and we are continuously showing a reduction in these numbers.
The strength of India was that it adopted a “whole of government” and “whole of society” approach. A nation of 1.35 billion people exhibited the strength and determination to diligently follow the stringent containment guidelines imposed by the government. The whole nation came together to follow its leader – Hon’ble Prime Minister Modiji – who showed the political will to take unprecedented and strong steps to contain the pandemic.
Today, India stands at another threshold of vaccinating each and every Indian against this dreaded disease we have commenced the world’s largest vaccination drive and I’m proud to say that to date, India has managed to vaccinate more than 8.8 million people.
We are now looking towards a speedy and prudent return to normalcy, whilst undertaking strategies to balance both the health and economic stability of the country.
I take this opportunity to reiterate that India was blessed to have great leadership guiding us through this economic crisis. Led by Modiji, we turned this challenge into an opportunity in fact, the crisis became a harbinger of a paradigm shift via liberalization, privatization and globalization.
I have called 2020 the Year of Science when the best of humanity has shone through the gloom that descended upon us. Major global collaborations were set up so that scientists could share their expertise.
While we all applaud science, I must also say that it’s not just the science that has been remarkable. The biggest success of this pandemic has been the teamwork and people putting the right outcome ahead of individual glory. Scientists and organizations actually focused on delivering a meaningful goal, whether it was across a nation or across a continent or across the world.
India as a nation is already providing thought leadership to the entire world in the sphere of public health, engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed, shaping the research agenda, and stimulating the dissemination of valuable knowledge. We believe in the principle that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.
Our unique initiative of Vaccine Maitri which means Vaccine Friendship was launched because India’s foreign policy is governed by its age-old maxim of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’’-The World is One Family.
When the world faced a ‘crisis of confidence’ regarding the shortage of diagnostics and vaccines, Prime Minister Modiji affirmed that India’s production capacity will be used to help humanity in fighting the virus. The humane and caring attitude of India led by Prime Minister Modiji is being appreciated by the entire world. It is evident that India wants peace, security, cooperation and prosperity in the world.
The pandemic has taught us that all such health emergencies demand a shared response because these are shared threats requiring shared responsibility to act. In fact, what is the greatest need of the hour is a greater degree of Shared idealism of nations.
I thank you all once again for participating in this workshop and charting out a bright future for the world through mutual cooperation and solidarity.
Thank you and Jai Hind.