New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the second wave of the pandemic illustrated the kind of challenges that the virus may present to us and the country needs to stay prepared to meet these challenges.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the launch of a 'Customized Crash Course Programme for Covid-19 Frontline Workers' via video conferencing. The training programme will be conducted at 111 centres spread over 26 states.
About one lakh frontline workers will be trained under this initiative. Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Mahendra Nath Pandey, many other Union Ministers, Ministers from the states, experts and other stakeholders were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said that this launch was an important next step in the fight against coronavirus. He cautioned that the virus is present and the possibility of mutation is also there.
"The second wave of the pandemic illustrated the kind of challenges that the virus may present to us. The country needs to stay prepared to meet the challenges and training more than one lakh frontline warriors is a step in that direction," said the Prime Minister.
He reminded everybody that the pandemic has tested the strength of every country, institution, society, family and person. "At the same time, this alerted us to expand our capabilities as science, government, society, institution or individuals," he said.
He pointed out that India took up this challenge and the status of PPE kits, testing and other medical infrastructure related to Covid care and treatment bears testimony to the efforts.
"Amidst all these efforts, skilled manpower is critical. For this and to support the current force of corona warriors one lakh youth is being trained. This training should be over in two-three months," the Prime Minister said.
He informed that top experts of the country have designed these six courses, launched on Friday, as per the demands of the states and union territories. The training will be imparted to Covid warriors in six customised job roles namely Home Care Support, Basic Care Support, Advanced Care Support, Emergency Care Support, Sample Collection Support, and Medical Equipment Support.
This will include fresh skilling as well as upskilling of those who have some training in this type of work. This campaign will give fresh energy to the health sector frontline force and will also provide job opportunities to the youth.
"Corona period has proved how important the mantra of skill, re-skill and up-skill is. The Skill India Mission was started separately for the first time in the country, a Skill Development Ministry was created and the Prime Minister's Skill Development Centers were opened across the country. Today Skill India Mission is helping millions of this country's youth every year in providing training according to the needs of the day," he said.
The Prime Minister said given the size of our population, it is necessary to keep increasing the number of doctors, nurses and paramedics in the health sector.
"Work has been done with a focused approach over the last 7 years to start new AIIMS, new medical colleges and new nursing colleges," he said.
The Prime Minister lauded the ASHA workers, ANM, Anganwadi and health workers deployed in the dispensaries in the villages.
Modi said many guidelines have been issued related to the campaign which is to start from June 21.
"People below 45 years of age will get the same treatment for vaccination as for people above 45 years of age from June 21st. The Union Government is committed to give free vaccines to every citizen while following corona protocol," he said.