Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic is the worst crisis humanity has faced in decades and has not seen a crisis like this in a century as India recorded more than 27 million cases of Covid-19 so far. “The pandemic has impacted every nation… Our planet will not be same after Covid-19. In the times to come, we will remember events in the future as either pre- or post-Covid,” PM Modi said while speaking during the virtual Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima.
PM Modi gave the keynote speech at the online prayer session held by the International Buddhist Confederation as Buddhists around the world celebrated Vesak to observe Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death amid restrictions imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Also watch | ‘Our planet will not remain the same’: PM Modi on Covid second wave, vaccines
“We now have a better understanding of the pandemic which strengthens our strategy to fight it. Most importantly, we have the vaccine which is absolutely important to save lives and defeat the pandemic,” the Prime Minister said. “The emergence of a vaccine in a year of the pandemic striking shows the power of human determination and tenacity. India is proud of our scientists who have worked on the Covid-19 vaccines,” he added.
As PM Modi stressed on the importance of vaccine to save lives and defeat the coronavirus pandemic, he also acknowledged frontline and healthcare workers for their contribution. “I once again salute our first responders, frontline healthcare workers, doctors, nurses and volunteers who selflessly risked their lives every day to serve others in need. To those who have suffered and lost their near and dear ones, I would like to extend condolences. I grieve with them,” he said.
Last year, the Prime Minister during his virtual address at the event in the middle of the first wave of the pandemic stressed on India’s commitment to serve humanity and highlighted the country’s supply of critical drugs and humanitarian aid to several countries to help fight the crisis.
Vesak is a special day to mark three key events in Buddha’s life, his birthday, the attainment of enlightenment and the achievement of Nirvana. The United Nations acknowledged it as the International Day of Vesak in 1999 and it is celebrated internationally, including at UN offices and Unesco, since then.