Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the fully functional All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bilaspur next year, BJP national president JP Nadda said on Sunday.
Nadda, also a Rajya Sabha member, congratulated Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and frontline workers for making the state the first in the country to fully vaccinate 100 per cent of its adult population against COVID-19.
Inaugurating the outpatient department of AIIMS in Bilaspur, Nadda said the health institute will be fully ready by June next year and hoped the prime minister will inaugurate it.
As much as Rs 4,400 crore will be spent annually to run the institute, he said during the programme organised to celebrate the state's remarkable feat.
Nadda, who is a native of Bilaspur, said though AIIMS Delhi and the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, had been built in and around 1960, no other premier health institute had been built in other parts of the country until 2014.
Under Modi's leadership, 22 AIIMS are being built across the country, he said.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said India was able to manufacture 31-32 crore COVID-19 vaccines per month under Modi's "sincere and active leadership" and that the prime minister had relaxed norms, besides providing the vaccine makers every possible help in research and manufacturing.
"India has manufactured vaccines not only for its citizens but also exported it to various countries, including the developed ones," he added.
Speaking about the challenges faced in vaccinating citizens in the hill state, Chief Minister Thakur said a special chopper had been arranged to reach out to people in the remote Bara Bhangal area of Kangra district. Union minister and local MP Anurag Thakur said no citizen from the state will have to go to PGIMER or AIIMS Delhi once the 750-bedded facility in Bilaspur will start functioning in its full capacity by June. Several COVID-19 workers were honoured during the function.
As many as 53,86,393 eligible adults have been administered the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, a state official said.
Himachal Pradesh was also the first state to achieve 100 per cent first dose vaccination of adult population by the end of August.
Sunday's function was held exactly three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on September 6 appreciated the state's efforts in the administration of vaccines.