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India has ‘gone quite ahead’ to win the war against COVID-19: Health Minister

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said India is doing better compared to other countries on all parameters in its fight against COVID-19 and should be able to win this decisive war in the coming few weeks.

While virtually interacting with civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on COVID-19 issues at an event organised by Niti Aayog, Vardhan said such organisations have been working tirelessly to ensure essential resources reach the last mile.

Talking about India’s preparations and their results, the minister said, “We have gone quite ahead towards winning this war against COVID-19.” He added that the country has done better on “all our parameters” compared to the rest of the world. “And I am sure in the coming few weeks, we should be able to win decisive war against COVID-19,” the minister claimed.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Biotechnology are doing genetic sequencing of coronavirus at 1,000 places, he said, adding, “We have half a dozen vaccine candidates, four of them are in a significantly advanced stage.” The health minister also informed that every day the country is manufacturing 1.5 lakh personal protective equipment in the country. He said in May, “we will have good indigenous production of good quality anti-body test kits and also kits for detection of coronavirus”.

About challenges ahead as the Centre relaxes curbs on movement of stranded migrant workers, he said there will be requirements of lots of help from NGOs to reorganise migrant labourers again in their home towns as there could be some resistance in the society when they go back.

Until now, nine lakh people are under community surveillance, the minister said adding that it was a huge operation undertaken in the last three months.

The death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic rose to 1,074 and the number of infection cases climbed to 33,050 in the country on Thursday, according to the Union Health Ministry.

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