New Delhi: Noting that COVID-19 has been an extraordinary challenge to humankind, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Tuesday that tackling the pandemic was bound to be more difficult in India due to high population density and limitation of resources in a developing economy but people have “shown an unmatched resolve” against the coronavirus, reported news agency ANI.
In his address on the eve of 73rd Republic Day, the President said the world has never been in so much need of help as now.
He said it has been over two years now and humankind is still battling with the coronavirus, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and the world economy has been reeling under the impact.
The President said the world has suffered from unprecedented misery, and surge after surge of new variants have been posing new crises.
“It has been an extraordinary challenge to humankind. The pandemic management was bound to be all the more difficult in India. We have a high population density, and as a developing economy, we did not have the level of resources and infrastructure needed to battle this invisible enemy. But it is only in such difficult times that the resilience of a nation shines forth,” he said.
“I am proud to say that we have shown an unmatched resolve against the coronavirus,” he added.
The President said that the vaccination drive against COVID-19 is progressing at a quick pace in the country.
“In the first year itself, we raised the healthcare infrastructure and also reached out to help others. By the second year, we had developed indigenous vaccines and launched the world’s biggest vaccination drive in history. During the pandemic, we have reached out to several other countries with vaccines and other medical help. This contribution by India has been appreciated by international organizations,” he said.
President Kovind said countless families have gone through a harrowing time and there are no words to express collective trauma.
He noted that the time of crisis “has also made us appreciate how we all Indians are connected as one family”.
“The time of social distancing has brought us close to each other. We have realised how much we depend on each other. Doctors, nurses and paramedics have risen to the challenge, working long hours in difficult conditions even at the risk of their lives to attend to patients. Others have kept the nation moving, managing supply chains and utilities. The leadership, policymakers, administrators and others at the central and state levels have made timely interventions,” he said.
He urged people not to let their guard down as pandemic is still widespread.
“There have been setbacks, unfortunately, as the virus makes a comeback with new mutations. Countless families have gone through a harrowing time. There are no words to express our collective trauma. The only saving grace is that many lives could be saved. As the pandemic is still widespread, we must remain alert and not let our guard down,” he said.
The President said that precautions taken till now have to be continued.
“Wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing have been essential parts of COVID appropriate behaviour. In the fight against the COVID pandemic, it has now become a sacred national duty of every citizen to follow the precautions suggested by our scientists and experts. We have to discharge this duty till the crisis is behind us,” he said. (ANI)