India’s prime minister on Saturday announced health ID for every citizen and said the country is prepared to mass produce COVID-19 vaccine with the green light from the scientists.

The announcement by Narendra Modi came during his speech marking the 74th Independence Day of India, which is being celebrated amid the coronavirus outbreak witnessing a massive spread in the country.

Modi also announced a national digital health mission for the country.

“It [mission] will bring a new revolution in India’s health sector. Everyone will be given a health ID. It will include information all about your health, doctor’s visit, disease, investigation etc.” he said.

The premier also said the testing of three coronavirus vaccines at different stages is also going on in the country.

“When we will get green signal from scientists, we will do the production of vaccine at a mass-scale for which preparation are also ready,” he vowed.

There are three vaccines which are undergoing testing in India. Bharat Biotech International in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) is testing a vaccine which has been named as Covaxin, while as Zydus Cadila and Serum Institute of India are also carrying out tests on potential vaccines separately.

This year, the guest list was trimmed at the main venue of Independence Day celebration in the capital New Delhi. Unlike previous years, the event was not open for the public and it was held under social distancing rules.

‘Self-reliant India’

After Modi unfurled the flag at historic Red Fort in New Delhi, his address remained focused on self-reliant India, the government’s achievements and initiatives, and future plans.

“World is witnessing the results of reforms which we are unveiling one after another; last year foreign direct investment in India set all-time high with an 18% increase. Now along with Make, we have to move forward with mantra of Make for World also,” he said.

“I am confident that India will realize the dream of AatmaNirbharBharat (self-reliant India).”

He said that the country’s National Infrastructure Pipeline project will play a crucial role in pulling the country out of the impact of COVID-19.

“Over Rupees 110 lakh crores [approx. $1.46 trillion] will be spent on this and 7,000 projects have been identified across various sectors,” he said.

He also mentioned Ladakh — the border area in Himalayan region, where India and China recently engaged in fatal clashes.

“From LoC (Line of Control) to LAC (Line of Actual Control), whoever tried to raise their eyes towards the country’s sovereignty, our soldiers responded in the same manner,” he said, adding that what our “jawans”, or soldiers, and India can do, “the world has seen in Ladakh.”

India and China are witnessing a heightened faceoff along the LAC, a de facto border line between the two nations in the Ladakh region of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.

The prime minister also touched on Jammu and Kashmir, which recently completed one year since India’s decision to revoke the special status of the region.

“It was a year of a new development journey for Jammu and Kashmir. Delimitation activity is underway and once the process is complete, elections will be held again,” he said.

While the main event in Delhi was held with a limited guest list, it was a miss this year for those Delhi residents who had been attending the event.

“Last year I went along with my family members to Red Fort and listened to the PM’s speech there. This year, it was closed to the public because of COVID-19. We watched the speech on television,” said Ankit Kumar, a Delhi resident.

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