The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for called for encouraging and enforcing COVID appropriate behaviour that had helped us curb earlier surges. He also called for implementing the proven and reliable strategy of ‘Test track and treat’ with renewed vigor to counter the spread of coronavirus.Addressing the Governors of all States virtually along with the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the Vice President underlined that the spread of the virus can be controlled with the support of the community and stressed the need to constantly focus public attention to this vital aspect.Expressing his concern over the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Shri Naidu cautioned that the healthcare infrastructure will inevitably come under tremendous pressure. He called for special focus on 10 states that account for 85% of national cases & 89% deaths reported in the last 14 days.Recognising that the challenge is formidable, the Vice President said that we are better prepared today as compared to last year because the nation has ramped up infrastructure over the course of past one year. “We now have vaccines which are safe and effective”, he added.Noting that every Governor, as the constitutional head of state, has an important role in the fight against this pandemic, Shri Naidu wanted them to collaborate actively with their respective Chief Ministers and act as consensus builders . “You can not only share your experience and expertise but also provide guidance to the state governments on crafting a more effective strategy”, he told the Governors.Stating that the Governors can act as potential agents of change and supplement the efforts of Chief Ministers in encouraging more partners to contribute in the fight against the pandemic, Shri Naidu asked the Governors to work with the state governments and make it a people’s movement or Jan Andolan. “Educational institutions, civil society organizations, philanthropists and corporate houses have become active partners during the last one year”, he said and stressed the need to associate them during this second wave as well.
Emphasising that the importance of adopting Covid-appropriate behaviour needs to be widely communicated, the Vice President appealed to all citizens to internalize this message. He also said that the Governors can greatly expand the public outreach and influence public behavior.Stating that despite many constraints, India successfully controlled this pandemic during the past one year through a well-calibrated strategy, Shri Naidu said that we have to continue the battle with the same agility and momentum as we did earlier. “One of the most useful lessons we have learnt during the last year is that we have succeeded in our fight against Covid 19 mainly because of collaborative work”, he said.He noted that the Union government has decided the Covid-19 strategy in close collaboration with the state governments and called upon everyone to keep political differences aside and act unitedly as a team.Endorsing the Prime Minister’s suggestion for an all-party meeting, the Vice President said it will help in brainstorming new ideas, sharing of knowledge and exchange of best practices and effective understanding of field concerns and various perspectives. This will help us accelerate the overall COVID-19 management efforts, he added.Recognizing that the pandemic has had a profound impact on the lives and livelihoods of people, the Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers for leading India’s fight against the pandemic. He also complimented all the front-line medical professionals, pharmaceutical industry leaders, farming community and all other stakeholders who have been lending invaluable support in this fight against Covid-19. He said farmers are also frontline warriors, they have ensured food security of the nation during these critical times.Appreciating the role of the media, Shri Naidu urged it to do more by spreading awareness about COVID appropriate behavior specially the importance of wearing proper masks.VP also advised youth to eat proteinous food and adopt a healthy lifestyle to boost their immunity and stay fit.The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and all Governors participated in the video conference.