On 7 June at 5 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation regarding the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the country. The information regarding the national address was released via the "PMO India" official Twitter handle on the same day at 1:18 pm IST. In his 32 minutes speech, the prime minister talked about India's conditions suffering from the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PM focused on some key points, which were the centralisation of the COVID-19 vaccination process. He also announced free COVID-19 vaccinations for all the citizens of India over the age of 18 from 21 June. He also talked about the supply of vaccines and promised to deliver more vaccines in the upcoming days. The process for inventing an intranasal COVID-19 vaccine is also being developed, announced the Prime Minister. People who want to get the COVID vaccines from private hospitals can do so at the cost of only 150/- INR.
Many states in India had come up to ask the Centre for help regarding the vaccination. So, the PM announced that the Centre would take up 25% of the vaccination drive of the states. This vaccination drive is going to be implemented over the upcoming two weeks. The Centre and the states are going to work together in this drive as per the new guidelines.
In his speech, the PM said that he has taken into account the recommendations of various CMs and political leaders better to create wholistic new guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccination drive. He did not leave the chance to poke a jab at opposition leaders with his remark that various states were unhappy with the centralisation of the COVID vaccination process. But when it was de-centralised, they realised the previous arrangement was much better.
The Prime Minister has also announced the Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana, which aims to provide free ration to the poor and underprivileged sections of the society. This Scheme is going to be continued till Diwali. This is a sigh of relief for a major portion of the Indian population struggling to cope with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister also requested the people of India to follow the COVID protocols strictly to protect themselves against the "invisible and mutating" enemy. In his speech, he talked about how India is still fighting with the second wave of COVID-19 and remarked that this pandemic is the worst pandemic to have hit the world in the last century. Nonetheless, his speech gave hope as he ensured the people of a brighter future with better medical infrastructure throughout the country to better fight against COVID-19.