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DAVOS 2021: India's COVID vaccination programme reaches 2.3 million in 12 days

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a public meeting at Jerenga Pathar in Sivasagar district of India's Assam state on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Biju BORO / AFP) (Photo by BIJU BORO/AFP via Getty Images)
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Photo: Biju Boro/AFP via Getty Images

India has vaccinated 2.3 million frontline healthcare workers since starting its COVID-19 inoculation programme less than two weeks ago.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the “the world’s largest coronavirus vaccine programme” had gone smoothly during the first 12 days of operations. India is targeting 300 million vaccinations by August, focusing on the most vulnerable groups.

“Today, by sending COVID vaccines to various countries, and setting up infrastructure related to vaccination, India is saving the lives of other countries also,” Modi said.

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Modi, who has run India since 2014, made the remarks during an address to the World Economic Forum’s virtual Davos Agenda summit.

“All at the WEF will be relieved to know that while so far only two made-in-India corona vaccines have been introduced to the world, in the near future many more such vaccines will be made available from India,” he said in a speech on Thursday. “These vaccines will help us in assisting countries across the world faster and on a much bigger scale.”

India was one of the hardest hit nations in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country of 1.3 billion people has suffered over 10 million cases and 150,000 deaths.

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Modi said the vaccination effort showed the country’s resilience.

“On the economic front also, the situation will now change rapidly,” he said. “Even during the corona pandemic, by starting infrastructure projects worth trillions of rupees and by implementing special schemes for employment, India kept its productivity going.”

India’s digital infrastructure allowed the government to send ₹1.25tn to over 700 million Indian’s bank accounts during the crisis.

The country was well placed to benefit from the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” of data, artificial intelligence and robotics, Modi said, but he cautioned against potential unwanted side effects of the rise of these technologies.

“The corona crisis has reminded us about humanity as a value,” he said. “We have to remember that Industry 4.0 is not about robots but about human beings. We have to ensure technology becomes a tool of ease of living and not some kind of trap.

“For this, the entire world needs to act together. We all have to act together.”

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