Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the Indian Army has boosted the morale of the country and also enabled the people to hold their heads high during the border standoff with China.
He said this while addressing a gathering here during the ‘bhoomipujan’ and foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Command Hospital.
“The charismatic (karishmaayi) performance by the Army during the India-China standoff has boosted the morale of the country and also enabled the citizens to hold their heads high,” he said, drawing a thunderous applause from the crowd.
The military face-off had erupted on May 5 following violent clashes between the Indian Army and the PLA in the Pangong lake area.
“The entire world is facing COVID-19 pandemic. No one had thought that with the onset of the pandemic, celebrating festivals such as Holi, Eid and Diwali will be without much fanfare (dhoomdhaam). No one had imagined that trains will come to a halt, and schools and markets will remain closed. However, the good thing was that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, efforts to deal with the crisis started with courage and understanding (of the issue),” he said.
He added that the biggest challenge at the time of the pandemic was testing. “There were barely two laboratories, but today there are over 1,000 laboratories. There was a shortage of masks, ventilators and PPE kits. But the swiftness and understanding of the issue which India displayed, masks, PPE kits and ventilators are now being exported. This has been done in 4-6 months,” Mr. Singh said.
Hailing the doctors and healthcare workers, he said, “Had our doctors, para-medical staff, whom we know as warriors, not taken the risk, we could not have fought the challenge. It is for this reason that doctors are considered as the second God on earth. The threat of COVID-19 was on doctors, para-medical staff, sanitation workers. They stayed away from their families, ate food outside their homes, and then left for the hospital. These warriors have rendered charismatic performance. The doctors, para-medical staff, sanitation workers have worked as frontline soldiers and I salute their commitment and dedication.” He also informed that besides the two indigenous anti-COVID vaccines used in the nationwide vaccination drive that began on Saturday, four more vaccines are coming soon.