Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the country on Monday afternoon, said: "India spared no effort in fighting Covid 2nd wave, tackling oxygen crisis".
Modi said that the anti-Covid protocol is the most important factor in the fight against this invisible virus, reports the NDTV.
"Vaccine is like a protection cover against this...Imagine what would have been the scenario if we didn't have an India-made vaccine," he said.
"Whether its polio or Hepatitis B, the country had to wait for decades. When the country gave us an opportunity in 2014, the vaccination coverage was only 60% then. It was a worrisome situation. As a solution for that, we launched Mission Indradhanush. We worked in mission-mode and in just 5-6 years, the vaccine coverage was increased from 60 to 90%," Modi added.
He added that whether they were ICU beds, ventilators, the health infrastructure was ramped up.
"During the second wave in April-May, there was an unbelievable demand for the medical oxygen. We run Oxygen expresses, IAF and Navy were involved, the production was increased tenfold," he remarked.
"We have been fighting the second wave of the coronavirus. Like other countries, India went through a tumultuous time during this wave," the Indian PM said.
"A lot of people have lost their loved ones, my condolences are with them. This is the biggest pandemic in the last 100 years. The pandemic of this scale wasn't witnessed by the modern world."
Modi also announced free ration for 80 crore people till Diwali.
The Indian government would take back control of vaccination from the states and provide free vaccines to all in the next two weeks, Modi added.
"The Centre is taking back total control of vaccination now, will be implemented in next two weeks. The Centre will give free vaccines to states for all above 18. From 21 June, the Centre will provide free vaccines to states," Modi announced.
This means those who want to pay can go to private hospitals, who can still buy 25% of the doses directly from manufacturers.
"75% of vaccination will be free and under the Centre, 25% will be paid and by private hospitals," he said.
He also put out an emphatic defence of his government's vaccination policy, tackling criticism by states and opposition parties over the past several weeks amid a shortage of vaccines.
It was states that wanted decentralization, he said, and that is why they were given 25% vaccination responsibility.
He said India's vaccine policy had been a success because of "good intentions and clear policy".