Union Home Minister Amit Shah in an exclusive interview with Network18 Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi said India has been able to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
"Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, India is a better position in comparison to the rest of the world in fight against coronavirus. Till now, 12.6 per lakh people in the country have been affected by Covid-19, which is far better than US, Brazil and other countries. India's recovery rate is above 42 percent, according to the latest data," Shah said, adding that the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak is "our biggest achievement".
"Irrespective of political party, every state government has fought against this coronavirus outbreak," Shah said in the wide-ranging interview.
"Around 130 crore Indians are fighting with COVID-19 along with Modi. Now, there is better health infrastructure in all the districts," Shah added.
Responding to the migrant crisis in the country, Shah said that had migrant labourers been sent to the respective states before the lockdown, it would have posed a huge problem on the state governments since they did not have sufficient testing/quarantine facilities at that time.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"The Modi government has arranged buses and trains for the migrants and till now, 55 lakh migrants have been sent to their native states. The Railways has helped migrants in returning home, most of whom have now completed their quarantine period and started living with their families," Shah said.
Speaking on PM Modi's 'Vocal for Local' push, Shah said that it will not reduce foreign investments.
"We are confident that this will give a new impetus to our economy. God also supports those who work with hope and strategy," Shah said.
The home minister also touched upon the issue of tensions with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Shah said that talks are on with China at diplomatic level and added that the Modi government will not compromise on the issue.
On senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the saffron party's subsequent formation of government in Madhya Pradesh, Shah said that the rebellion happened due to "lack of respeect for leadership" within Congress. He also said that BJP will form government in West Bengal with "full majority".
The home minister also said Modi 1.0 cannot be seen independently from Modi 2.0.
"In five years (from 2014-2019), Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for a great India," Shah said. He added that among the achievements of the first five years of the Modi government, the borders of the nation were made secured and GST was achieved under the government.
"We finished the middlemen system and passed on benefits directly to the poor," Shah said while listing the work carried out by the government during its first term in office."Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), which has been a long-standing demand, was also formed in the second term of this government. Moreover, another demand was to scrap Article 370, which was also done," Shah said, adding that during its second term, the Modi government also brought in the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which had led to wide-spread protests across India.