Foreign Minister S Jaishankar assured the worried diaspora in Kuwait on Thursday that the second wave of COVID-19 was receding in India and that the government “has really moved mountains” to contain the pandemic.
Jaishankar, who arrived Thursday morning for his first bilateral visit to the oil-rich Gulf country, addressed the Indian community after its meetings in the country.
“The second wave of COVID-19 has started to recede. The daily number of new infections is lower than it was in early May. The positivity rate has also dropped significantly,” he said.
“A lot of this was made possible by the very, very vigorous government response to Wave 2. The kind of effort and energy I’ve seen, the long hours people put in. People really moved mountains to respond to what was unprecedented. situation, “he said.
The minister said the government has set up hundreds of oxygen trains to transport oxygen from production centers to major cities.
“All of our planes have been mobilized, including Air Force planes to move oxygen cylinder tanks, both within the country and from overseas to India,” Mr. Jaishankar said.
“We bought essential drugs for the treatment of COVID. Many of them came from abroad. We have also ensured that the national production of medicines is improved, ”he said.
Regarding the vaccination program, the minister acknowledged that it was a “big problem” and that 3 million people were vaccinated daily and that its rate will accelerate in the coming days.
“As vaccine production ramps up, as the year progresses, we will be able to immunize all of our people,” he said.
Mr Jaishankar said the economy had started to recover strongly, saying there was a feeling that the economic impact of the second wave would be less than what happened last year.
“The belief that we have is that India is going to take over. India is going to recover quickly, a lot of what we have seen in the past – the constant rise of India and its economy and its influence in the world – and it will continue, ”he said.
Mr. Jaishankar praised the contributions of the Indian community, saying that in many ways it defines India abroad.
“The contribution you make, the respect you earn, the support you provide and the bridge you build are what makes India’s interaction with the world unique … Keep the Indian flag high here in Kuwait “, did he declare.
Earlier, Jaishankar held a meeting with Indian envoys to the Gulf countries to discuss a host of issues, including encouraging the rapid resumption of flights to that region and facilitating the reunification of families separated by the Covid disturbances.
He said Indian missions in the crucial Gulf region have been urged to do everything possible to help the Indian community during the pandemic.
He said the government attaches great importance to the region not only because it is one of the main sources of oil and gas in the country, but also because of the presence of a large number of Indian nationals living in the countries of the region.
Jaishankar said he had “productive talks” on Thursday with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, during which the two sides discussed a range of issues such as health, food , education, energy, digital technology and business cooperation.
During the visit, India and Kuwait also signed a memorandum of understanding that places Indian domestic workers in the Gulf country under a legal framework that streamlines their recruitment and ensures them protection of the law.
The MoU places Indian domestic workers in Kuwait within a legal framework that streamlines their recruitment and ensures them the protection of the law.
About one million (ten lakh) Indians reside in Kuwait.