Mourning the loss of lives lost due to the global coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reiterated India's commitment to start giving vaccines to needy persons in other countries, even as he gave a clarion call to manufacturers to "Come, Make Vaccine in India".
"For the last one-and-a-half years, the whole world is facing the biggest pandemic in 100 years. I pay homage to all those who lost their lives in such a terrible pandemic and extend my condolences to the families," Modi said, addressing the high-level 76th United Nations General Assembly session here.
India's vaccine delivery platform - COWIN, is providing digital support for hundreds of millions of vaccine doses in a single day, he said.
India had stopped the export of COVID-19 vaccines after the second wave of the pandemic hit the country hard in April this year.
On Monday, India said it will resume export of surplus COVID-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the ''Vaccine Maitri'' programme and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.
"India, which lives on Sewa Paramo Dharma (service is the main duty), is engaged in vaccination development and manufacturing despite limited resources. I want to inform UNGA that India has developed the world's first DNA vaccine, which can be administered to all people above the age of 12 years," Modi said at the UNGA.
"Another mRNA vaccine is in its late stages of development. Scientists in India are also engaged in the development of a nasal vaccine for Corona. Realising its responsibility towards humanity, India has once again started giving vaccines to the needy of the world. I also invite vaccine manufacturers from all over the world today to- Come, Make Vaccine in India," the prime minister said.
According to Johns Hopkins university data, the deadly virus has so far infected 231,154,501 people and killed 4,737,927 globally.
'Mother of democracy'
Modi also said he represents a country which is proud to be known as the mother of democracy and cited his own rise from a tea seller at a railway station to that as prime minister to underscore the strength of India's democracy.
"We have had a great tradition of democracy that goes back to thousands of years," Modi said. "I represent a country that is proud to be known as the mother of democracy. On 15th of August this year, India entered into the 75th year of its independence".
India has dozens of languages, hundreds of dialects, different lifestyles and cuisines. This is the best example of a vibrant democracy, Modi said.
"I will soon have spent 20 years serving my countrymen as head of government. First, as the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat and then as the Prime Minister for the last seven years", Modi said, adding that democracy has delivered.