No need to panic, follow Covid-appropriate behaviour: Vice President on new coronavirus variant


NEW DELHI: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday urged people not to panic about the emergence of new COVID-19 strain Omicron and advised them to remain vigilant and keep following Covid-appropriate behaviour till the pandemic is over.

Addressing a gathering at a book launch event at the Upa Rashtrapati Nivas here, he also urged people to shed hesitancy and get themselves vaccinated against coronavirus at the earliest.

The vice president said the coronavirus pandemic has come as a big challenge for the entire human race, and appreciated the world’s largest vaccination drive currently underway in India, an official statement of the Vice President Secretariat said.

Naidu also referred to the transformational changes brought in governance over the past seven years. These changes are both empowering and enabling 1.3 billion people to deliver on their potential, he said.

“Be it life expectancy, financial inclusion, access to healthcare, employment, owning a house, or honouring entrepreneurial ability, the quality of Indian lives is getting better with each passing day,” Naidu said.

Quoting the prime minister’s three-word mantra, ‘reform, perform and transform’, the vice president praised the tremendous progress made by the nation over the past few years in various fields such as financial inclusion, insurance coverage, number of LPG connections for poor women and tap water connection to households.

He said following the principle of ‘minimum government and maximum governance, the government is leveraging technologies to bring transformation in every sector, and expressed satisfaction over India becoming the third largest startup ecosystem in the world.

“It is a testimony to the government’s resolute commitment to improve the business environment in the country that India’s ranking rose to 63rd place in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020,” he said.

Naidu noted that India’s strategic partnerships are based on mutual respect and the nation has given a resolute response to inimical forces who dared to challenge its integrity and sovereignty.

“We are guided by our unwavering self-belief and our dedication to becoming ‘atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) in every possible way,” he noted.