NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that India fared much better compared to some other countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The PM made this observation while delivering the inaugural address to mark the 90th birth anniversary celebrations of Reverend Dr Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan.
"Powered by our corona warriors, India is firmly fighting COVID-19. Some people had predicted that the impact of the virus would be very severe in India. But India is much better placed than other nations. Our recovery rate is rising. Any loss of life is unfortunate. However, India's death rate due to COVID is under 12 per million whereas the rate is 574 per million in Italy. The death rate is much higher in America, Briton, Spain and France. But we cannot let our guards down. We have to be even more cautious," said Modi.
He said while fighting the pandemic we have to focus on economic growth and prosperity of 130 crore people. The wheels of trade and commerce have to move and agriculture has to flourish. Wishing Dr Joseph Mar Thoma long life and better health, Modi said the metropolitan has dedicated his life for the betterment of the society and nation.
"He has been particularly concerned about the removal of poverty and empowerment of women. The Mar Thoma Church is clearly linked with the noble ideals of St Thomas, the Apostle of Lord Christ. The contributions of St Thomas and the Indian Church community are deeply valued. With the spirit of humanity, the Mar Thoma church has helped to bring a positive difference in the lives of our fellow Indians," the Prime Minister said.
Hailing the Mar Thoma Church for its role in the Indian freedom struggle, he said the church was at the forefront working towards national integration. The church stayed firmly rooted in Indian values and was active in the fight against the emergency.
"The contributions of the church have been recognised at the national level The former metropolitan Philipose Mar Chrysostom was conferred with Padma Bhushan for his contributions in 2018," he said.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Mizoram Governor P.S Sreedharan Pillai, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and various other leaders extended greetings to the Metropolitan. Special prayers and holy mass were held at Thiruvalla Pulatheen Chapel at 8 am on Saturday to mark the occasion.