President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and no one should have a non-serious attitude towards it.
He also appreciated the work done by doctors, nurses and health workers during the pandemic outbreak. Speaking at the 26th convocation of the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI) here, the president said, “The world continues to grapple with this pandemic. In our fight against the novel coronavirus infection, medical institutions like SGPGI have worked relentlessly.”
Appreciating the untiring efforts of all doctors, nurses, medical students, healthcare and sanitation workers, and administrators, he said that they have risen to the challenge and selflessly served fellow citizens.
“They risked their lives; some of the fellow corona warriors also sacrificed their lives. The entire nation is grateful to them for their dedication,” he said.
Stressing that the battle against Covid is far from over, Kovind said, “We must remain on guard against any laxity. Masks and social distancing are our first line of defence. The vaccine is the best possible protection offered by science. True to the vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', our scientists have produced 'Made-in-India' vaccines. The nation has been conducting the world's largest vaccination drive.
“We have made incredible progress with more than 61 crore citizens being successfully vaccinated against the disease across the country,” he said.
He noted that in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of the country, nearly 6 crore people have been vaccinated so far. He said the pandemic has underlined the importance of healthcare in the most unprecedented way.
“There is a challenge to fulfil the healthcare requirements of all citizens, including the less privileged and those living in interior areas. In this regard, the use of latest technologies and especially telemedicine will go a long way,” the president said, adding that technological solutions would have to be complemented by various forms of therapy.
India has a rich knowledge base in healthcare in the form of Ayurveda. Along with other traditional forms of medicine as well as yoga, it can help treat lifestyle diseases, he said.
Addressing the graduating doctors of SGPGI, Kovind said they have acquired great skills and knowledge, and now is the time to put them to use in serving others. For those patients hoping for relief and recovery, doctors are nothing less than angels. Their faith puts greater responsibility on doctors to live up to patients' expectations, he said.
"In the fight against coronavirus, medical institutions like yours have played an important role. I was told that samples of patients from more than 30 districts were tested in the laboratory of the institute and about 20 lakh RTPCR tests were conducted," he told the audience.
Referring to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s announcement of setting up of medical colleges and associated hospitals in every district of the state, the president said it is incumbent upon SGPGI to extend its expertise to all these upcoming institutes so that they can be developed as centres of excellence in their own way.
He said in less than four decades, the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences has "excelled, raised the teaching standards, explored new avenues in research and carried out breakthrough research in medical science", adding that the institute holds fifth spot in the medical category in the country in the recent NIRF ranking.
According to a statement issued by the SGPGI, the foundation stone of the institute was laid on December 14, 1980 by then President of India, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.