In an act of immense significance, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare today distributed masks amongFrontline Workers at the Union Health Ministry. He stated that although this gesture was symbolic, leading people from various industries, corporate houses and those political leaders holding office could start a virtuous chain by emulating the exercise, eventually amplifying the Jan-Andolan to protect everyone from COVID-19 through COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
The aim of the exercise in the Health Ministry is to distribute masks to all employees posted in the Ministry starting with the Frontline Workers and eventually moving to other staff.
Elucidating why the event was so close to his heart, he said, “The Government worked round the clock to stop COVID-19 last year. Under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, we were immensely successful in decreasing the active caseload to a minimum. However, with the arrival of vaccines early this year and things returning back to normal, people gradually invited laxity in their adherence to the simple code of COVID Appropriate Behaviour. While the virus mutated and evolved itself, we let our guard down. All this compounded in the spike in cases snowballing into the second-wave.”
Further explaining the timely importance of the event, The Union Health Minister said, “With many corners of India gradually moving towards unlock from the second wave, we cannot afford the laxity and any further increase in cases again.”
He drove home the point that masks are the simplest, most potent and the most powerful weapon against all variants of the Corona-virus. Appealing to everyone who is an employer in some capacity including corporate and industry leaders, social organisations, his colleagues in other ministries and other political leaders in office, he said, “We must all ensure that all our employees are safe from COVID. We should ensure that all of them have adequate masks, that masks are properly worn by them and inform them, if felt necessary, on the importance of COVID Appropriate Behaviour. We should encourage them to get vaccinated as well.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan also recalled that the IRCS has committedly helped people in need since 1920 and has a rich history of humanitarian endeavours. The Indian Red Cross’s work is not limited only to disasters and emergencies, rather it also regularly carries out various social development activities. Red Cross supplemented the efforts of government in expediting Foreign Aid received to distant corners of the country. The present tranche of masks for distribution was provided by the Red Cross Society.
Talking about the second front against COVID19 made possible by the introduction of vaccines, The Union Health Minister highlighted that the Government of India hadalready started the largest vaccination drive in the world and is now completely geared up to universalise the drive throwing it open free-of-cost to every adult citizen above 18 years of agein the country.He also appealed to every Indian yet to be vaccinated to get themselves vaccinated and join the Jan Andolan against COVID-19.
Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, Ms. Arti Ahuja, Additional Secretary (Health) and Shri R.K. Jain, Secretary General, Indian Red Cross Society were present at the event.