She noted that the country’s fight against the pandemic continues into 2021 and the country is all set to bring in two more vaccines for the infectious disease.
“Today, India has two vaccines available, and has begun medically safeguarding not only her own citizens against COVID-19, but also those of 100 or more countries. It is an added comfort to know that two or more vaccines are also expected soon,” Sitharaman said.
Currently, the country is utilising two vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin — for country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive.
“Now, just as it had happened after the two World Wars, there are signs that the political, economic, and strategic relations in the post COVID world are changing,” the Finance Minister noted.
This moment in history is the dawn of a new era – one in which India is well-poised to truly be the land of promise and hope, she said.
“In this spirit, I can’t help but recall the joy that we, as a cricket-loving nation, felt after Team India’s recent spectacular success in Australia. It has reminded us of all the qualities that we as a people, particularly our youth, epitomise of having abundant promise and the unsuppressed thirst to perform and succeed,” Sitharaman added.
Earlier this month, an injury-ravaged India beat Australia by three wickets in the series-deciding fourth Test in Brisbane thus winning the 4 Test series by 2-1.
It was India’s first Test victory at the Gabba in their seventh visit since 1947-48, and the first time Australia were beaten at what was flagged as their ‘fortress’ since 1988.
The government on Monday proposed Rs 2,23,846 crore Budget outlay for health and wellbeing for 2021-22, compared to Rs 94,452 crore in the current fiscal year, an increase of 137 per cent.
Sitharaman also proposed Rs 35,000 crore outlay for COVID-19 vaccines for the next fiscal year and announced the rollout of pneumococcal vaccines across the country to help save over 50,000 deaths annually.
The pneumococcal vaccine is effective against potentially fatal pneumococcal infections like pneumonia, septicaemia and meningitis.