'COVID-19 vaccines absolutely important to defeat pandemic': PM Modi as cases surge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday greeted the nation on the occasion of Buddha Purnima and said that the coronavirus pandemic is the worst crisis humanity has faced in decades and has not seen a crisis like this in a century.

In a keynote address on the occasion of Virtual Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the ongoing Covid-19 crisis "the worst crisis humanity has faced in decades".

PM Modi said that the planet will not be the same after COVID-19 and noted that the events in the future will be remembered as either pre or post-Covid.

“The pandemic has impacted every nation. Our planet will not be same after Covid-19. In the times to come, we will remember events in the future as either pre or post-Covid,” PM Modi said while speaking during the virtual Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima.

Delivering the keynote address on the occasion of "Virtual Vesak Global Celebrations" on Buddha Purnima, he described vaccines as absolutely important to save lives and defeat coronavirus.

However, he added, there is now a better understanding of the pandemic, and described vaccine as absolutely important to save lives and defeat the virus.

"We now have a better understanding of pandemic which strengthens our strategy to fight. We have the vaccine which is important to save lives and defeat the pandemic. India is proud of our scientists who have worked on the COVID-19 vaccines," PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister expressed gratitude towards the frontline and healthcare workers who were selflessly risking their lives every day in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and also extended condolences to those who lost their dear ones to the deadly viral infection.

“I once again salute our first responders, frontline healthcare workers, doctors, nurses and volunteers who selflessly risked their lives every day to serve others in need. To those who have suffered and lost their near and dear ones, I would like to extend condolences. I grieve with them,” he said.

PM Modi also noted that there have been noteworthy changes in the country and across the globe as well, and said, "India is proud of its scientists who worked for vaccines. I once again salute our frontline healthcare workers, doctors, nurses who selflessly risk their lives every day to serve others in need, to those who have suffered and lost their dear ones. I extend condolences," he added.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the individuals and organisations who rose to the occasion contributed their bit in the fight against the pandemic and said their actions were aligned with the teaching of Lord Buddha.

"In the last year, we have seen several individuals and organizations rise to the occasion and do everything possible to reduce suffering. I have also learned of the generous contribution of equipment and materials made by the Buddist organizations, followers of Buddh dharma from the world over... By the outpouring of generosity, and support of fellow humans, the actions are in line with the teaching of Lord Buddha," he said.

Prime Minister recalled that last year also he had addressed this program which was dedicated to the frontline workers. "A year later we are seeing a mix of continuity and change. Pandemic has not left us. Several nations including India have experienced a second wave. This is the first crisis humanity faced in decades. We have not seen a pandemic like this in decades."

The event organised by the Culture Ministry in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) has participation of all supreme heads of the Buddhist Sanghas from around the world.

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