Auckland, May 12, 2021
Even as the number of cases continues to rise with mounting deaths and dearth of oxygen for people suffering from Covid-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is confident that India will overcome the current crisis and return to the path of economic progress.
As I write this piece thinking of millions of Muslims who will be content to celebrate Eid Al Fitr this year in the confines of their homes amidst growing fears of community spread of the second wave of Coronavirus hitting India, Times of India reported the lowest count of daily Covid-19 (on May 11, 2021) cases in a fortnight.
That was small comfort, for, the number of cases was 329,942, still the highest in the world.
Mr Modi and his government, along with the Chief Ministers and officials of various States face the uphill task of ensuring continued supply of oxygen, hospital care and other measures needed to contain the growing number of deaths.
More than 250,000 people have died in India since Covid-19 began last year.
Expressing his condolences to his people, Mr Modi said he is involved in their grief.
“The challenge is huge, but together we have to overcome it with our resolve, courage and preparation. We should not lose patience even in the most difficult times. To deal with any situation, we should take the right decision, make efforts in the right direction, only then can we win. With this mantra, the country is working day and night,” he said.
Augmenting Oxygen supply, Vaccination
Acknowledging the increasing demand for oxygen perpetrated by the Corona crisis, Mr Modi said that the government was taking expeditious steps to provide oxygen to the needy.
“Measures are also being taken at several levels to increase oxygen production and supply. Every effort is being made to have new oxygen plants in the states, deliver 100,000 new oxygen cylinders, medical use of oxygen being used in industrial units,” he said.
Mr Modi said that from May 1, 2021 every resident above the age of 18 will be administered Covid-19 Vaccine.
“Now, half of the Vaccines produced in India will be available directly to the States and hospitals. The Central government’s Vaccination Programme for the poor, the elderly and persons above the age of 45 years will continue at the same pace as before. Free vaccines will be available in government hospitals which can be availed by my poor brothers and sisters, middle class and lower middle class people,” he said.
Appeal to Muslims
Addressing the members of the Muslim community, Mr Modi said that Ramadan teaches us patience, self-control and discipline.
“Discipline is needed to win the battle against Corona. I request you to move out (of your house) only when it is necessary and follow Covid discipline. I assure you that with your courage, patience and discipline, the country will leave no stone unturned to change the conditions that are there today,” he said.
Islamic Centre of India Lucknow Chairman and prominent Sunni Cleric Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali asked Muslims to follow Covid-19 safety protocols during the remaining days of the Holy Month of Ramadan and the ensuing Eid Al Fitr.
In a video message, he said that those with four or more people in their home should offer the Ramzan prayers as a group at home.
“One should wear a mask even while offering Namaz and maintain social distance. The group of five people who offer Namaz at a Mosque should be the same group of five who are present for Alvida Namaz (Final Friday Prayer during Ramadan) at the Mosque and there should be no sixth person,” he said.
He also cautioned Muslims against visiting one another’s homes in the wake of the raging Coronavirus pandemic.
“After offering Namaz, all devotees should pray for the end of the Covid-19 pandemic for the sake of health, peace, livelihood, and national prosperity in their homes and convey their best wishes for Eid on phone,” he said.