Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting on Friday with the floor leaders of all political parties of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country and vaccine development.
The floor leaders of different parties included Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress, Midhun Reddy and Vijayasai Reddy of the YSR Congress among others.
Union Health Minister Harshvardhan also briefed the leaders on the coronavirus situation in India at present. Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Prahlad Joshi, V Muralidhar and Arjun Meghwal were also present at the meeting with the opposition parties.
Speaking at the virtual meeting, Prime Minister Modi hailed our scientists working on the development of the vaccine and added that Indian scientists are very confident of succeeding in their endeavour of making COVID vaccine. The world is keeping a watch on the cheapest and safe vaccine and that is why the world is watching India, the Prime Minister added.
“Nearly 8 vaccines are on different stages of trial with their manufacturing assured in India. Three vaccines from India are at different stages of development. Experts think that the vaccine isn’t too far away,” the Prime Minister said in the all-party meeting.
Our scientists are very confident of succeeding in their endeavour of making COVID vaccine. The world is keeping a watch on the cheapest & safe vaccine. That is why the world is watching India: PM Narendra Modi https://t.co/D1WWapSxkm— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2020
COVID vaccines will be ready in few weeks; health workers, elders to get first shot
The Prime Minister also said that experts believe that COVID vaccine will be ready in the next few weeks. Explaining the strategy of the government to inoculate vaccination to the citizens of the country, he said that as soon as scientists give a green signal, vaccination will start in India.
Importantly, during the all-party meeting, Prime Minister Modi also clarified that the healthcare, frontline workers and elderly person suffering from serious diseases will be given priority in vaccination.
Experts believe that COVID vaccine will be ready in the next few weeks. As soon as scientists give a green signal, vaccination will start in India. Healthcare, frontline workers & elderly person suffering from serious diseases will be given priority in vaccination: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/drikqdZf0S— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2020
He also said that the teams of Central and state governments are working together for vaccine distribution. He noted that India is better equipped in this regard compared to other countries, as the country has vast expertise and experience of nationwide vaccination programs. The country has a vast network for vaccine distribution, which will be utilised to the fullest extent, and for any additional requirements like cold-chain logistics, the same is being evaluated with the help of state govts.
“We have a very big and experienced network in the field of vaccination. We will fully exploit it,” the Prime Minister noted.
The PM also informed that India has developed a software for Covid vaccine, which will provide real-time information related to beneficiaries of the vaccine, available stock and its storage. For the research on Coronavirus vaccine, a special Group. This group is consists of technical experts and representatives from central govt ministries and state governments.
Vaccine will be affordable, pricing will be decided after consultation with states: PM Modi
During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi also apprised the opposition party leaders about the pricing of the yet to be launched coronavirus vaccine. There has been a lot of controversy over the issue of pricing and availability of coronavirus in the country.
Responding to the issue of pricing, PM Modi said that centre is in talks with state governments over the price of vaccine and decision regarding it will be taken keeping public health as the topmost priority.
Centre is in talks with State governments over the price of vaccine and decision regarding it will be taken keeping public health as topmost priority: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pic.twitter.com/mlkxdLwiwg— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2020
Concluding his address, Prime Minister Modi said he would appeal to leaders of all political parties to send their suggestions in writing. I assure you that they will be considered seriously, Prime Minister Narendra Modi added.
Earlier, prior to the address of PM Modi, floor leaders of opposition parties too spoke on the issue of coronavirus vaccine and the strategy of the government to distribute it to the rest of the country. Each opposition leader, who was allocated sufficient time to put their views, gave suggestions to the government regarding the efficient ways to distribute and inoculate vaccination to the citizens of the country.
The first all-party meeting was held on April 20 amidst the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
Following the all-party meeting, the Modi government is expected to brief the parliamentarians about various steps it has taken in the last few months to deal the coronavirus pandemic and put forward government’s strategy regarding the vaccine development and distribution.
The speech of PM Modi can be watched below: