Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], July 10 (ANI): Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Sunday hailed India’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive and said the country is capable of finding solutions while facing challenges.
“We are the country which has made its own vaccine. We are one of the few countries to have our own CoWIN app so that everyone who vaccinates has a digital certificate. Today’s India is capable of finding solutions while facing challenges,” the External Affairs Minister said while addressing an event in Thiruvananthapuram.
Registering a mild decline in COVID-19 cases compared to Saturday, India on Sunday reported 18,257 fresh COVID-19 cases, according to updated data by the Union Health Ministry. The country reported 14,553 recoveries and 42 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry data revealed. The active cases in the country stand at 1,28,690 on Sunday, with the daily positivity rate at 4.22 per cent, the Health Ministry data noted.
The minister said that the India of today’s times is way different from what it was when he was young.
“Present India is already very different from the India of my youth. It is an India which is capable of looking at challenges and finding solutions, of doing things in India with Indian talent and capabilities in a manner that we couldn’t have imagined earlier,” said Jaishankar.
Jaishankar earlier said the Indian government has always been supportive of Sri Lanka and it was “trying to help” the neighbouring country through its present economic crisis and made it clear that there was “no refugee crisis right now”.
Speaking to reporters outside the Thiruvananthapuram airport after arriving in the state capital on a three-day visit, Jaishankar said, “We have been very supportive of Sri Lanka. We are trying to help and we are always very helpful where they are concerned.
“They are right now working through their problems, so we have to wait and see what they do.”He was responding to a query on India’s stand on the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. On being asked whether there was any refugee crisis, the minister said, “There is no refugee crisis right now.” Jaishankar was also asked by reporters the reason for his visit to which he replied that there were several.
The worsening economic situation in Sri Lanka has led to increasing tensions and over the last few weeks, there were reports of several confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations where thousands of desperate members of the public have queued for hours and sometimes days.
Police have used tear gas and water cannon at times in an unnecessary and disproportionate manner. On occasions, armed forces have also fired live ammunition. Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress and severely undermining the country’s ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice. Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and local currency depreciation have fuelled the shortages. The economic crisis can push families into hunger and poverty – some for the first time – adding to the half a million people who the World Bank estimates have fallen below the poverty line because of the pandemic. (ANI)
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