Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an all-party meeting with the floor leaders of all political parties of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country and vaccine development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at the virtual meeting while Union Health Minister Harshvardhan briefed the leaders on the coronavirus situation in India at present.
Follow live updates on PM Modi’s meeting on Covid-19:
1.10 pm: PM Modi also said, “Teams of Central and state governments are working together for vaccine distribution. India has the expertise and capacity in vaccine distribution and we fare better compared to other nations in this matter. We have a very big and experienced network in the field of vaccination. We will fully exploit it.”
1.07 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, “Centre is in talks with State governments over the price of vaccine and decision regarding it will be taken keeping public health as topmost priority.”
1.05 pm: PM Narendra Modi has said a coronavirus vaccine will be ready within a few weeks from now and the government is waiting for a go-ahead from the scientists.
1.04 pm: PM Modi says, “India’s vaccination would begin as soon as we get a go-ahead from the scientists. In the first phase, healthcare workers, frontline workers and old people suffering from serious conditions would be vaccinated. We’ve one of the largest networks with experience in vaccination programmes. With the help from state governments, other needed cold chain storages and logistical support are being measured. A special software has also been developed for vaccine stock and real-time information.”
1.03 pm: PM Narendra Modi says, “Nearly 8 vaccines are on different stages of trial with their manufacturing assured in India. Three vaccines from India are at different stages of development. Experts think that the vaccine isn’t too far away.”
1.01 pm: PM Narendra Modi says, “Our scientists are very confident of succeeding in their endeavour of making a successful coronavirus vaccine. The world is keeping a watch on the cheapest and safe vaccine. That is why the world is watching India.”
1.00 pm: PM Modi starts addressing all-party meeting.
12.45 pm: Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay is attending PM Modi’s all-party virtual meeting on coronavirus instead of Derek O’ Brien.
12.30 pm: DMK leader TR Balu questions why there is no translation and subtitle in English for the health ministry presentation on the coronavirus situation. Along with this, TR Balu has also raised a protest in support of the farmers. To this, minister Prahlad Joshi said that the farmers’ issue is not part of the discussion. The minister assured the DMK leader that a translation of the talks will be sent to him in English.
12.10 pm: Former PM and Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda participates in the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the Covid-19 situation, through video conferencing.
11.35 am: Following the briefing by the health minister, the floor leaders of political parties with five or more MPs will be speaking at the virtual meet. Those with less than five members will submit a written statement.
11.30 am: PM Modi’s meeting with all political parties and floor leaders of the parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has started. Firstly, the health secretary will give a presentation on the present Covid-19 situation in India following which Health Minister Harshvardhan will brief the gathering.
The first such meeting was held on April 20 amid the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
The government will brief the parliamentarians about various steps it has taken to deal with the pandemic and may also touch upon the advances being made in vaccine development and distribution.
The floor leaders of different parties include Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress, Midhun Reddy and Vijayasai Reddy of the YSR Congress among others.