Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' on Sunday, spoke to healthcare workers at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and addressed several topics such as vaccine hesitancy and details about the ongoing deadly second wave.
The Prime Minister first called on Dr Shashank Joshi from Mumbai, who has grassroots-level experience in the field of COVID treatment and allied research. He has also been the Dean of the Indian College of Physicians.
When asked about the ongoing second wave, Joshi informed that this time around, the virus is faster moving than the first wave but assured that the recovery rate is higher and the mortality rate is low.
"To an extent, it (COVID) has been observed in youth and children too. There is absolutely no need of being scared. 80 to 90 percent people do not show any of these symptoms," he said, adding that there is no need to be afraid of the new mutant and the country would overcome this wave too," he said.
He further urged people to stay positive and followed treatment protocol is as per the Doctor's advice.
The second guest on the Prime Minister's programme was Dr Naveed Nazeer Shah, a professor at the Government Medical College, who encouraged all those eligible to get the vaccine and combatting misinformation.
"Our country presently has two vaccines available Covaccine and Covishield... In Jammu Kashmir, till now, 15 to 16 lakh people have taken the vaccine... till now, in our place, no side effects have been found in vaccines that have been administered. Only things that are routinely associated with every vaccine have been seen," he said.
On reports of people testing positive even after getting vaccinated, he said that if someone is vaccinated, they may get infected but the severity of the disease will not be severe.
PM Modi also spoke to a nurse with experience in taking care of COVID patients- Bhavana Dhruv from the B R Ambedkar Medical College in Raipur.
Dhruv shared her experience while taking care of patients and their families, and the support extended to them during difficult times.
Another nurse - Surekha, Senior Nursing Officer in Bengaluru's KC General Hospital also spoke with the Prime Minister.
She urged people to get tested early, properly track themselves to reduce the mortality rate and get vaccinated when eligible.
"Don't panic and don't be stressed out. It worsens the condition of the patient. No vaccine provides 100 per cent protection immediately. It takes time to build immunity. Please vaccinate yourself. Please have sympathy towards frontline workers and professionals. We need your support and co-operation," she said.
The Prime Minister also spoke to an ambulance driver - Prem Verma, lauding the efforts of other frontline workers such as lab technicians.
Verma has been working with COVID patients and shared his experience of picking up and dropping patients as soon as possible.