The government of India is aiming to reduce India’s Covid-19 death rate from the current 1.64% to less than 1%, the lowest level, which is still the lowest in the world.
In response to the debate in Rajya Sabha, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that our country’s recovery rate is 78-79%, one of the highest in the world and although the total number of cases may have exceeded 49 million, the number of active cases is less than 21%.
He said that the number of deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India is less as compared to many European countries, and the government is determined to improve the United States test rates. Health Minister said that the vaccine is likely to arrive early next year, but until then, it is necessary for people to wear masks and follow physical distancing.
The minister also stated that despite the number of coronavirus cases, our country’s mortality rate is still one of the lowest in the world. He said actions such as testing and isolating infected people can be ascribed to this lower fatality rate. He took Spain and Brazil as examples, saying that the death rate in these countries is more than 11 times that of India.
Harsh Vardhan asserted: We want to reduce the mortality rate to less than 1%. We currently have 5 million cases, but out of these, only 1 million cases are currently active. He further said that several international specialists had predicted that from July to August, the number of cases in India would rise to 300 million, causing 5-6 million deaths.
He said: In the nation of 1.36 billion people; we are currently conducting 1.1 million tests, and are 2nd only to the United States. This has only been possible due to the united battle against this COVID-19 disease.
Regarding COVID-19 vaccine development, he affirmed that ICMR, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and pharmaceutical companies have come together to find a solution. He appended that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi also personally monitored this matter. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated: Vaccines may develop in the future. Extensive plans are underway to implement how to manage this situation.
During this period, his answer was interrupted for a few minutes as the sound system stumbled while the members of Rajya Sabha could not hear him. Health Minister was speaking from his assigned seat in Lok Sabha. After a few minutes of interruption, he said that there are three vaccine candidates that have reached the stage first, second, or third level.
He said: Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, a team of experts is studying this. We hope that by early next year, we can produce vaccines in the country. In this regard, we will also coordinate with the World Health Organization and global organizations.
Vardhan pointed out that India is one of the few countries in the world that can isolate the virus. He said that since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the central government has been working closely with the state government.
The health minister stated that all decisions during this period were made with the assurance of state governments. Over the past eight months, he said, the central government has worked tirelessly to fight the epidemic in cooperation with state governments.
I want to say that the whole country has been fighting the epidemic for the last eight months under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi; he said.
He stated that the country’s first case appeared on January 30, when the Ministry of Health had issued advisory opinions on the disease to state governments. The consultation took place on January 17, and since then, the government has been working tirelessly to fight the disease. Vardhan stated that history will remember Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his constantly monitoring the situation on a personal level and coordinating efforts with the state government.
Vardhan remarked: He (the prime minister) did not even make any decision without consulting experts and the state CMs. Every decision was made after ensuring a comprehensive consensus across the country.
He said the lockdown was a historic step, and this measure taught people how to fight the epidemic. Vardhan saluting coronavirus warriors and their families said that the central and state governments under Modi’s leadership have fought the battle against the coronavirus illness with full commitment.
He stated that from day one, the central government provided hundreds of billions of rupees to the state government to fight the pandemic. Vardhan said that from one laboratory (for Covid-19), with the help of ICMR, this number has now increased to 1,700.
He said: With the start of local production, even the cost of test kits has been reduced. No one used to make PPE kits here before, but now there are 110 manufacturers. Similarly, there are currently 25 ventilator manufacturers in the country.
The central government helped each state without considering which party is in power, he said. He pointed out that the best practices from each state were brought together and shared with the whole country. The Health Minister noted that even in the difficult economic situation, the Prime Minister allocated more than 1,4000 crores for health, 17 crores for the poor, and 20 crores for the self-reliance initiative.
He asserted: During this period, crore of rupees were also provided in accordance with various government programs. Regarding the issue of migrant workers, the minister replied: there is no doubt that migrant workers have faced problems for some time…during the COVID-19 era, we had sent 6.4 million migrant workers to their hometowns by buses and trains.
Asked by Anand Sharma (Congress member) about the benefits of imposing lockdowns, Vardan said the government obtained the figures from findings by five scientific institutions, including the Department of Statistics and Program Implementation; PHFI, and Boston Consulting Group.
On Wednesday, Anand Sharma asked how the government came up with data that the lockdown decision prevented approximately 143 million cases and 3,78,000 deaths in the country.
Vardhan said: These institutions have conducted five studies and prepared these data accordingly. He answered another question about the use of the BCG vaccine against Covid-19, said that six clinical trials have been conducted and ICMR is the main part of this research.