India will have enough vaccines from August: Amitabh Kant

India will have enough vaccines from August: Amitabh Kant

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NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said India will have an adequate amount of vaccines from August even as he termed the second wave as more catastrophic than the first one and warned of a possible impact on children and rural populace from the third wave.

Speaking at a virtual interactive session on saving lives and livelihood, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry jointly with OYO, Kant said the government has taken a series of measures since then and there has been a steady decline in the number of active cases while advocating the need for fiscal and monetary support to worst hit sectors like tourism and aviation.

“There has been further ramping up of the vaccination drive and the private sector has played a very pivotal role in managing the pandemic and has complimented the efforts of the government in a significant way,” he said.

Talking on the vaccine shortage in India, Kant said, “there may be a slight demand-supply imbalance in vaccination during June-July but from August onwards there will be an adequate amount of vaccines available”. “From then on, we should be able to vaccinate everybody in India properly and that should help us,” he added.

Emphasising on the need to save ourselves from a third wave, Kant said if the third wave happens, then the children and people in rural areas will get impacted. “We need to build up both hospital infrastructure and human resources and ensure ICU facility at the grassroot level,” he said, adding this is also an opportunity for the private sector to come forward.

Further, Kant said there is a need to build up a model of private public-partnership in which the government acts as a facilitator and the private sector comes forward. “If we leave everything to the government, it will be difficult to achieve the goal. This is an opportunity to create the infrastructure in the rural areas and in Tier II and Tier III cities. We should not lose the momentum of creating good quality infrastructure,” he said.

Kant said that sectors like tourism and aviation are badly hit and would need government support. “We should be as innovative as possible and support our industries both on the monetary as well as the fiscal side,” he added.

Lauding the efforts of the private sector in bolstering the supply chain, supplementing oxygen capabilities, ramping up medical infrastructure and providing oxygen concentrators and technical assistance to several government agencies, Kant said government is engaging with the private sector and international development organizations with an aim to forge strong partnership to strengthen our response to the pandemic.

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