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WHO Lauds Prime Minister Narendra Modi And Gujarat For COVID-19 Response

The country representative of World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Roderico Ofrin praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making COVID response a Jan Andolan (people’s movement)

India recently became the fastest country to vaccinate six million beneficiaries against COVID-19
  • Government should be proud of the resilience shown during COVID: Dr Ofrin
  • The vaccination drive by the country is successful: Dr Roderico Ofrin
  • Hats off to Gujarat government to take this review on pandemic: Dr Ofrin

New Delhi: Lauding the efforts by India in the fight against COVID-19, country representative of World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Roderico Ofr in on Thursday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making it a Jan Andolan (people’s movement).

The access, affordability and the speed which you get the result of the test, communicating and engaging with the community to be able to do COVID-19 appropriate behaviours– it was all on the call of Prime Minister, the Jan Andolan Dr Ofrin told ANI here.

The WHO country’s representative also said that the Government of India should be proud of the resilience shown during the pandemic.

Considering the magnitude of the population, 1.3 billion, 37 states and UTs, 770 districts and multiply the key public health actions into that for that government of India has to be very proud of, he added.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explained: How Does COVID-19 Impact Children And How Can They Be Kept Safe?

Dr Ofrin further remarked the vaccination drive by the country is successful.

Bringing diligence and disciplined response to vaccination is another area of responsibility. We see that it has been successful as six million have been vaccinated and it is the fastest rate of vaccination happening, he said.

India recently became the fastest country to vaccinate six million beneficiaries against COVID-19, the union health ministry said on Monday. While USA took 26 days to reach this mark, the UK took 46 days, India achieved the feat in the fastest 24 days.

Speaking about the nature of the virus, Dr Ofrin said,

We have already seen that they (virus) are smart and mutate and manage to adapt like human beings. We should be able to live with the virus managing these risks. Knowing what we know about COVID-19 and know that key basic intervention that all of us can do I call it 3 Ws- wear a mask, wash your hands and watch out the distance especially in crowds- then you are able to stop transmission.

The WHO representative called India as a responder and a resource for their world especially in vaccinations and the knowledge can be shared with the globe as he terms “a prepared India is a prepared world.”

It is a whole of society approach and India is a responder and a resource especially for vaccination now. That knowledge can be shared with the world and we can think of ancient Vedic philosophy of ‘Sarve Santu Nirmaya’ which is let all be healthy and a prepared India is a prepared world, Dr Ofrin said.

Also Read: Coronavirus Vaccine Explained: What Is Intra Nasal Vaccine?

Dr Roderico Ofrin also lauded the efforts by the state government in countering the second wave of the virus with the help of this mechanism.

Hats off to Gujarat government to take this review on pandemic as something to provide better information and tweak the response which they have especially during the second wave. Gujarat is one of the best performing states in vaccinations. It would be great if other states also start doing the same review exercise of their response, Dr Ofrin exclusively told ANI.

He also added that the state had a coronavirus safe workplace policy early on protecting the businesses and workers. The key findings from the review can help in future preparedness for any emergency not just for COVID-19 but also for any possible outbreak or even emergency from a natural disaster. Talking about the steps taken by the Gujarat government during the pandemic, Dr Ofrin said house-to-house surveillance was the key for better contact tracing.

In Gujarat, there was house to house surveillance for better contact tracing that was key to find out the extent of how the infection is spreading. Second is the outreach of the medical services to provide medicine to people because of the lockdown access to health services needed to continue, he said.

Dr Ofrin also said that another big innovation was addressing mental health through the digital academy. Speaking about the IAR he said,

This report is called Intra-action for COVID-19 response for countries to be able to review for what they have done and they can tweet the responses to the pandemic. This is a longer outbreak than we expected. Usually, for any emergency, we do an after-action review so the state and ministry of health together with WHO, IIM Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar got together including all stakeholders with 75 interviews and 35 organisations.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccine Explainer: How Do Vaccines Work?

According to the report, the review will use a new WHO tool developed for country intra-action reviews. Its report will highlight important success factors and provides recommendations across 10 important areas of the country’s national and sub-national response.

The review also documents the challenges that the stakeholders faced while dealing with the outbreak and recommends critical improvements required to ramp up the health response.

The entire IAR process was planned and implemented in three phases and given that the country is a large country with a complex federal structure. The reports also stated that Gujarat has taken the lead in conducting the first state-level IAR in India.

The entire COVID-19 response was led by the leadership of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his deputy along with the Health Minister. The entire COVID-19 response included various steps such as screening of passengers, collection of details of people with recent international travel and quarantining them as needed were initiated.

Also Read: Most People Are Naturally Armed Against COVID-19, Study Finds

All municipal corporations and district administrative officers were instructed to inform the public about the standard precautionary measures. Public health actions such as test, trace and isolate and treat cases, social distancing, masks, and sanitation were enforced to reduce the spread of infection.

Private hospitals were engaged through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and provided treatment to COVID-19 patients at reduced rates besides scaling up its own capacity and opening of new large COVID- 19 hospitals.

Mobile medical vans were used on large scale to reach the doorsteps of the people. Arogya Setu, ITIHAAS (IT-enabled integrated Hotspot Analysis System), helplines, telemedicine and tele-mentoring were used to increase and improve the reach of services.

(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

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