- Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged people to wear mask
- He also warned people against the surge in COVID cases in festive season
- India's COVID-19 tally crossed the 68-lakh mark on Thursday
New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday warned people of COVID-19 ahead of festival season and urged people not to forget to wear mask above the nose. Speaking to reporters, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “As the festival season is around the corner, hence we should be more vigil towards taking precautions against COVID-19. Never forget to wear your masks above your nose, frequently sanitise and wash your hands and maintain social distancing.”
With a spike of 78,524 new cases and 971 deaths reported on Thursday, India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 68-lakh mark, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The COVID-19 count in the country stands at 68,35,656 including 9,02,425 active cases and 58,27,705 cured and discharged or migrated cases. As per the MoHFW, with 971 deaths the toll due to the disease has now reached 1,05,526 in the country.
Speaking at Ministerial Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, Harsh Vardhan further said,
In September 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a political declaration on Universal Health Coverage. The political declaration among its many commitments stresses the importance of strong primary health care systems, increasing investments for health and effective public health systems.
For most of this year, the world has been battling a rapidly evolving pandemic that has speared few countries, testing the resilience of health systems to their utmost, he said.
We must applaud the resolve shown by the community of nations in effectively tackling the pandemic and at the same time working to further the aim of universal health coverage, the Minister added.
Like several other countries and as a signatory to the Sustainable Development goals, India has been working on making Universal health coverage a reality for her citizens. With this resolve, Ayushman Bharat was launched in India in 2018 comprising two pillars of health and wellness centres, providing comprehensive and primary health care to all and providing secondary and tertiary inpatient health care to 500 million citizens. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought home to us several lessons. It has made us realize the importance of a resilient and strong public health system.
He further said,
COVID-19 has also ensured that we now need to focus on accelerating actions related to the integration of public health surveillance and data sharing into primary and secondary health care. This has spurred design reforms such as expand and build and IT-enabled disease surveillance system, build capacity for research on health, invest in the national health ecosystem, strengthening epidemiological intelligence capacity and create system capacity to meet the need for emergency response.
(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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.