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Indian Population Still Far From Achieving Herd Immunity Shows ICMR’s Second Sero Survey: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

While interacting with social media users during Samvaad-3, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the findings of the second sero survey are going to be released soon, but indications are that we are far from having achieved any kind of herd immunity which necessitates that all of us should continue following COVID appropriate behaviour

Indian Population Still Far From Achieving Herd Immunity Shows ICMR’s Second Sero Survey: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan
  • ICMR is investigating and researching reports of reinfection: Dr Vardhan
  • Dr Vardhan discouraged the wide usage of plasma therapies
  • Public healthcare spending to increase from 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025

New Delhi: Indian population is still far from achieving herd immunity against COVID-19 as shown by Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) second Sero Survey, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday adding that ICMR expert panel examining reinfection cases. While interacting with social media users during Sunday Samvaad-3, Dr Vardhan said,

The findings of the second sero survey are going to be released soon. But second sero survey indications are that we are far from having achieved any kind of herd immunity which necessitates that all of us should continue following COVID appropriate behaviour. The first sero-survey of May 2020 revealed that the nationwide prevalence of novel coronavirus infection was only 0.73 per cent.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: Experts Guide On “How To Wash Hands Properly” And Why It Is So Crucial

ICMR is also actively investigating and researching reports of reinfection and although the number of reinfection cases is negligible at this moment, the government is fully seized of the importance of the matter, added the health minister.

Dr Vardhan discouraged the wide usage of investigational therapies such as remdesivir and plasma therapies.

Government has issued regular advisories regarding the rational use of investigational therapies. The private hospitals have also been advised against routine use of these investigational therapies. The doctors in the States/UTs are being made aware of this through webinars and during the tele-consultation session of AIIMS, he said.

The Union Health Minister dispelled fears regarding the phased opening of schools and advised on proper protocol to be followed while visiting salons and hair-spa. The Minister asked everyone to always raise awareness regarding COVID appropriate behaviors. He re-emphasized on the need for wearing masks even in places of worship.

Also Read: How To Take Care Of Mental Health Among Children During Coronavirus Pandemic And The Lockdown

On the emerging evidence that the disease not only impacts lungs but other organ systems too, especially cardiovascular and renal, Dr Vardhan informed that the committee of health ministry is looking into these facets of COVID-19 and ICMR is also studying this subject.

He stated that States/UTs have been advised to lower the prices of COVID tests.

In the early days of the pandemic, as the kits were imported, the price tended to be high. But now, there is a domestic production of kits and supplies of testing kits have also stabilized. The health ministry has written to States and Union Territories to engage private laboratories at mutually agreeable lower rates.

Responding to a similar question on the strengthening of the public health system, he spoke of the Union Government’s commitment “to increasing the public healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP from the existing 1.15 per cent to 2.5 per cent by 2025”, which “will mean an actual increase of 345 per cent over the current share in this short period of time.” He added that the 15th Finance Commission’s high-level group on health has concurred that healthcare spending must be raised substantially in the next five years in view of the present pandemic.

Also Read: Maharashtra’s Palghar Is Fighting A Dual Battle – Malnutrition and COVID-19

On the disparity of setting up AIIMS in different regions and only one for the entire North East, Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke of the Central Scheme Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) aimed at correcting the regional imbalances in healthcare.

Other than setting up new AIIMS, the scheme also aims to upgrade the existing medical infrastructure in the entire country in a phased manner. Under different phases of the Scheme, the Central Government will establish new medical colleges attached with existing district and referral hospitals in Dhubri, Nagaon, North Lakhimpur, Diphu, Kokrajhar Districts in Assam, Churachandrapur in Manipur West Garo Hills District in Meghalaya, Falkawan District in Mizoram, and Kohima and Mon in Nagaland.

On a question related to ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat Yojana’, Dr. Harsh Vardhan spoke of India’s two-pronged strategy of incentivizing production and creation of common infrastructure for high-quality medicines and medical devices to make the country self-reliant.

The government is ensuring that there is import substitution in this sector as well and that we are no longer dependent on imports; Under these newly-launched schemes, the Government has proposed the development of three bulk drug parks and four medical device parks across India, he said.

Also Read: Poshan Maah 2020: Why Protecting Health And Nutrition Rights Of Children During COVID-19 Is Important For India, Experts Speak

He further said,

In the coming days we will not just be able to meet domestic requirements, but also be able to fulfill global demand for low-cost, quality medical devices. In the last few months since the outbreak of the pandemic, India had made rapid strides in the manufacturing of ventilators, PPEs, testing kits and many medical devices.

(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


Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,71,08,375 and 52,70,820 have died; 22,77,48,418 are active cases and 3,40,89,137 have recovered as on December 8, 2021 at 3:48 am.


3,46,48,383 6,822Cases
3,40,79,612 10,004Recovered
4,73,757 220Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,48,383 confirmed cases including 4,73,757 deaths. The number of active cases is 95,014 and 3,40,79,612 have recovered as on December 7, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

66,39,296 518

10,528 298

64,87,593 811

1,41,175 5


51,69,198 3,277

41,386 2,724

50,86,044 5,833

41,768 168


29,98,400 301

7,096 65

29,53,067 359

38,237 7

Tamil Nadu

27,31,235 719

8,013 28

26,86,683 737

36,539 10

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,852 122

2,030 92

20,57,369 213

14,453 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,485 10

137 3

16,87,437 7


West Bengal

16,19,722 465

7,590 49

15,92,579 505

19,553 9


14,41,398 40

344 26

14,15,955 65

25,099 1


10,50,354 105

2,010 144

10,39,921 248

8,423 1


10,07,011 44

337 7

9,93,081 37



9,54,920 29

221 0

9,45,743 28

8,956 1


8,27,745 38

350 1

8,17,300 37


Madhya Pradesh

7,93,258 17

137 4

7,82,593 13



7,71,851 32

203 18

7,61,594 14



7,26,244 7

28 2

7,14,126 5



6,77,138 195

3,810 23

6,69,328 171

4,000 1


6,17,758 182

2,544 54

6,09,088 122

6,126 6


6,03,509 21

333 28

5,86,565 46

16,611 3


3,49,352 10

131 4

3,44,080 6



3,44,364 11

172 2

3,36,781 13


Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,915 108

1,661 45

3,31,771 151

4,483 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,630 112

776 21

2,23,001 90

3,853 1


1,79,209 35

413 1

1,75,409 34



1,36,784 330

3,120 19

1,33,156 310

508 1


1,29,093 8

250 30

1,26,968 38



1,25,389 29

341 12

1,23,063 38

1,985 3


84,866 8

93 3

83,948 5



84,599 16

246 2

82,878 14



65,500 12

62 4

64,618 8


Arunachal Pradesh

55,294 1

35 1

54,979 2



32,374 5

214 1

31,755 6



32,140 4

120 3

31,321 1



21,723 9

270 25

21,238 34


Dadra And Nagar Haveli


0 0





10 0



Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,690 2

3 1

7,558 3


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