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 speaking to civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on COVID-19 issues at an event organised by Niti Aayog, Harsh Vardhan said such intitutions 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."
"I am sure in the coming few weeks, we should be be able win decisive war against COVID-19," he said.
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 that "we have half a dozen vaccine candidates, four of them are in significantly advanced stage".
The health minister also informed that the country is manufacturing 1.5 lakh personal protective equipment everyday.
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 hometowns as there could be some resistance in the society when they go back.
Harsh Vardhan also said that India took immediate proactive steps within days of knowing about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China.
"The central government immediately issued advisories to the states, undertook rigorous community health surveillance and started thermal screening at airports, borders as well as seaports," he said.
The health minister also spoke on the issue of stigmatisation of COVID patients and frontline workers who are engaged in battling this war.
The government has recently amended the Epidemic Diseases Act to protect healthcare workers against violence during health crises such as COVID-19.
However, he said, not everything can be solved with the help of law and sought the assistance of NGOs and CSOs to battle the menace of stigmatisation in the society.
Meanwhile, in its latest update, the Union Health Ministry said 1,075 people have died due to COVID-19 so far across the country. The number of cases has increased to 33,610, including 1,823 new cases detected in the last 24 hours.