Addressing a webinar organised by Swarjya Magazine, Health Minister said, "Atmanirbhar Bharat has become one of the focal areas of our government, around which all economic policies are being drawn up. Our government is focused on bridging the gap between the rich and the poor and on providing equal opportunity to all citizens."
"India can progress only if each citizen progresses and for each citizen to progress we need to be self-reliant. Self-reliant India does not mean boycotting foreign goods but believing in the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. It means ending India's dependence on other countries and moving towards development and progress. Only a self-reliant nation can make its nation paramount," said Harsh Vardhan, as quoted by a press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Speaking on the issue of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Swatantra Bharat, and India's Healthcare Ecosystem in a post-covid-world, he continued, "As a step in the direction of Atmanirbhar Bharat, we launched the Make in India initiative to drive India as a hub for the manufacturing, cutting edge research and innovation. With industry will come greater employment for our youth, which will ignite prosperity in their lives."
On the self-reliant initiative during the pandemic, Health Minister said, "India utilized the time during lockdown to upgrade the health infrastructure, build the capacity of healthcare workers and ensure availability of requisite logistics in the country. We are today self-sufficient in the indigenous manufacturing of PPE kits, masks etc, and also in a position to export the same. From one lab in Pune, we now have more than ICMR-certified 2,323 labs."
On leveraging technology in the fight against the pandemic, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "The Aarogya Setu application was developed for the purpose of helping in COVID management. The application has been downloaded by 168 million users."
Noting the efforts undertaken to rapidly increase the infrastructure in the country during the pandemic, he said, "Total isolation beds increased to more than 1.5 million by the end of Unlock 6 as compared to 10,180 before the lockdown. Similarly, the number of ICU beds has increased to around 80,669 as compared to just 2,168 before lockdown."
A National Expert Group on vaccine administration for COVID-19, NEGVAC was constituted under the guidance of the Prime Minister to monitor and decide on prioritization of population groups for vaccination, the delivery mechanism of the vaccine including tracking of the vaccination process and selection of delivery platforms, health minister added.
Ending the speech, the Union Minister said, "The call for Atmanirbhar Bharat is an inspiring call to keep pursuing your mission without being overcome by any obstacles, to establish a system of sacrifice and hard work, and to work towards nation-building." (ANI)