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Aiming To Bring Down COVID-19 Mortality Rate To Less Than 1 Per Cent: Health Minister Tells Parliament

According to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, there are chances that a vaccine against COVID-19 could come in the country early next year but till then it is necessary for people to follow social distancing and wear masks

Aiming To Bring Down COVID-19 Mortality Rate To Less Than 1 Per Cent: Health Minister Tells Parliament
Highlights
  • Current COVID-19 mortality rate of the country is 1.64%: Health Ministry
  • The government has worked tirelessly in the past 8 months: Mr. Vardhan
  • The country has over 51 lakh COVID-19 cases as of now

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said the government is aiming to bring down India’s COVID-19 mortality rate to less than 1 per cent from the current 1.64 per cent, which is still the lowest in the world. Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha, he said the country’s recovery rate of 78-79 per cent is one of the highest in the world, adding though the total cases may have crossed 50 million, active cases are less than 20 per cent. Deaths in India due to coronavirus pandemic are less than many nations in Europe and the government was determined to better the testing rate of the US, he said. Mr. Vardhan said there are chances that a vaccine could come in the country early next year but till then it was necessary for people to follow social distancing and wear masks.

Also Read: Indian Medical Association Calls Out The Indifference Towards ‘National Heroes’, Releases A List Of 382 Doctors Who Died Of COVID-19

The minister said that despite the number of cases, the mortality rate in the country remained one of the lowest in the world. He said steps like testing, isolation of infected persons and other steps can be attributed to this lower mortality rate. Citing the examples of Spain and Brazil, he said the mortality rate in those countries was over 11 times that of India.

We want to bring it (mortality rate) to less than one per cent. We have 50 lakh cases right now but out of these, only 10 lakh are active cases in the country right now, Mr. Vardhan said.

He said that various international experts had predicted that the cases in India will rise to 300 million by July-August, resulting in death of 5-6 million people.

In the country of 135 crore people, we are doing 11 lakh tests now and are second to the US only. It has been possible only due to the united fight against the disease, he said.

On development of a vaccine, he said that the Science and Technology ministry, ICMR and drug companies have come together for a solution. Even this matter is also being personally monitored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he added.

Vaccines can come in future. Extensive planning is underway to execute how to manage the scenario, Mr. Vardhan said.

Also Read: Coronavirus Re-Infection Is Very Rare, Not A Matter Of Concern: Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR

During this time, his reply was interrupted for few minutes as the sound system faltered with members in Rajya Sabha unable to hear. Mr. Vardhan was speaking from his allocated seat in Lok Sabha. Continuing after few minutes of disruption, he said there are three vaccine candidates which have reached phase one, two or phase three level.

Under the prime minister, an expert group is studying this. We expect by the beginning of next year we can have a vaccine in the country. In this regard we are also coordinating with WHO and global organisations, he said.

India is among few countries globally which has been able to isolate the virus, Mr. Vardhan noted. He noted that since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, the central government has worked in close collaboration with the state governments. The minister said that all decisions during the period were taken after taking state governments in confidence. He said that for the last 8 months, the central government, in association with state governments, has worked tirelessly to fight the pandemic.

I want to say that the whole country in the last eight months, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has fought against the pandemic, he said.

He said that the first case in the country surfaced on January 30 and by then the health ministry had already dispatched advisories to state governments regarding the disease. The advisories went on January 17 and since then the government has been working tirelessly to fight the disease. History will remember prime minister Modi for continuously monitoring the situation at personal level and coordinating efforts with state governments over the last eight months, Mr. Vardhan said.

He (PM) did not take even a single decision without consulting experts and state chief ministers. Every decision was taken after ensuring complete consensus of the entire country, he noted.

Terming the lockdown as a historic step, he said the measure taught people to fight the pandemic. Saluting COVID warriors and their families, Mr. Vardhan said that the central and state governments have fought the battle against the disease with full dedication under the leadership of PM Modi.

Also Read: National Task Force And Joint Monitoring Group Will Decide On Continuing Plasma Therapy For COVID Treatment: ICMR

He said the central government from day one helped the state governments with thousands of crores given to them to fight the pandemic. Mr. Vardhan said from one laboratory (for COVID-19) the figure has now increased to 1,700 with the help of ICMR. He said even the cost of testing kits has been brought down with the local manufacturing kicking in. There used to be no one manufacturing PPE (personal protective equipments) kits here, but now there are 110 manufacturers.

Similarly, there are 25 makers of ventilators now in the country, Mr. Vardhan said. The central government helped every state without thinking which political party is in the power, he added. Best practices from each state were brought together and shared with the entire country, he noted.

The minister noted that even in difficult economic situation, the prime minister allocated Rs 15,000 crore for health, Rs 1.7 lakh crore package for poor and Rs 20 lakh crore for self reliance initiative. He said that crore of rupees were also given under various government schemes during the period. On the issue of migrant workers, the minister said,

There is no doubt that for some time migrant workers faced problems…during the COVID period, 64 lakh of our migrant workers were sent to their native places by trains, buses.

Replying to a query by Anand Sharma (Congress) on the benefits of imposing lockdown, Mr. Vardhan said the government had derived the figures from the findings of five scientific bodies, including Boston Consulting Group, PHFI and Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

On Wednesday, Mr. Sharma had questioned the government how it had derived the figures that lockdown decision prevented approximately 14-29 lakh cases and 37-78 thousand deaths in the country. “These bodies did five studies and based on that we prepared this data,” Mr. Vardhan said. Replying to another query on the use or BCG vaccine in gainst COVID-19, he said six clinical trials have been registered and ICMR is part of this study.

Also Read: Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research Collaborates With Aurobindo Pharma To Develop COVID-19 Vaccines

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,27,61,966Cases
22,35,18,265Active
3,40,28,506Recovered
52,15,195Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,27,61,966 and 52,15,195 have died; 22,35,18,265 are active cases and 3,40,28,506 have recovered as on December 1, 2021 at 3:56 am.

India

3,45,96,776 8,954Cases
99,0231,520Active
3,40,28,506 10,207Recovered
4,69,247 267Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,96,776 confirmed cases including 4,69,247 deaths. The number of active cases is 99,023 and 3,40,28,506 have recovered as on December 1, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,35,658 678

11,226 299

64,83,435 942

1,40,997 35

Kerala

51,41,814 4,723

44,314 824

50,57,368 5,370

40,132 177

Karnataka

29,96,148 291

6,445 462

29,51,492 745

38,211 8

Tamil Nadu

27,26,917 720

8,244 47

26,82,192 758

36,481 9

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,909 184

2,149 47

20,56,318 134

14,442 3

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,399 12

89 3

16,87,399 8

22,911 1

West Bengal

16,16,083 705

7,731 2

15,88,866 694

19,486 13

Delhi

14,40,934 34

287 2

14,15,549 32

25,098

Odisha

10,49,108 228

2,188 23

10,38,509 203

8,411 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,813 34

318 0

9,92,902 34

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,785 15

193 6

9,45,637 9

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,475 40

275 13

8,17,108 27

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,170 20

119 7

7,82,523 27

10,528

Haryana

7,71,709 17

163 2

7,61,492 19

10,054

Bihar

7,26,223 4

36 3

7,16,524 7

9,663

Telangana

6,75,994 196

3,591 10

6,68,411 184

3,992 2

Assam

6,16,852 144

2,625 30

6,08,124 109

6,103 5

Punjab

6,03,279 21

325 4

5,86,352 22

16,602 3

Jharkhand

3,49,244 12

98 3

3,44,006 9

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,255 28

141 9

3,36,706 19

7,408

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,852 171

1,625 1

3,30,751 172

4,476

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,195 102

834 10

2,22,513 91

3,848 1

Goa

1,78,928 38

284 8

1,75,260 30

3,384

Mizoram

1,35,175 365

3,751 54

1,30,927 415

497 4

Puducherry

1,28,924 31

284 12

1,26,768 43

1,872

Manipur

1,25,205 36

649 6

1,22,579 40

1,977 2

Tripura

84,805 14

81 3

83,900 10

824 1

Meghalaya

84,480 19

294 9

82,713 9

1,473 1

Chandigarh

65,465 9

65 7

64,580 2

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,276 3

35 0

54,961 3

280

Sikkim

32,242 9

124 3

31,715 6

403

Nagaland

32,122 13

133 7

31,293 20

696

Ladakh

21,578 38

276 26

21,088 12

214

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

24 0

10,319

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,683

6 2

7,548 2

129

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