Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said that Maharashtra with 42.5 per cent, Chandigarh with 47.8 per cent and Delhi with 75.4 per cent are the worst performers in COVID-19 grant utilisation.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said this in his ''Sunday Samvaad'' programme.
"Maharashtra (42.5 per cent), Chandigarh (47.8 per cent) and Delhi (75.4 per cent) are worst performers in COVID-19 grant utilisation. In the first phase, the Government of India released Rs 3,000 crore to all States and UTs to battle the pandemic," said Dr Vardhan.
Dr Vardhan also said that the rumour about prioritising vaccination of youth over the elderly is false. "Kindly report such claims to PIB Fact Check. Groups with occupational hazard and risk of exposure to infection shall be prioritised followed by those at risk of developing severe disease," he said.
"Analysis by ICMR Delhi has revealed many cases reported as COVID-19 reinfection have been misclassified because RT-PCR tests can detect dead-virus shed for prolonged periods after recovery. ICMR is further studying the true burden of reinfection," Dr Vardhan tweeted.
"My dharma is to protect my people, to save lives and not destroy them. No religion or God says that you have to celebrate in an ostentatious way, there is no need to congregate in large numbers to prove your faith," he added.
The Union Health Minister stated that India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a ''Thought Leadership'' role while fighting the pandemic with strict and proactive measures we have managed to perform better than many advanced nations and achieved a low mortality rate.
"The fight against COVID-19 is not over. We need to #Unite2FightCorona and follow all precautions. I request you all to be vigilant, help curb the spread of fake news and ensure only correct and verified information regarding vaccines is passed on," Dr Vardhan tweeted.
"Government has not yet taken a view on granting emergency authorization for COVID-19 vaccine. Adequate clinical data from phase two and three trials regarding efficacy and safety is awaited for ensuring patient safety before making any such move," said Dr. Vardhan.
The Union Minister said that the loss of every single frontline corona warrior has been a great personal trauma for him.
"Modi Government has ensured ample supply of PPE kits and HCQ for their protection. Training modules and guidelines on infection prevention and control are being disseminated," he added.
Keeping the upcoming festival season in mind, Dr Vardhan on Sunday advised people to follow COVID-19 guidelines strictly during the phase, failing which the pandemic could once again raise its head and pose increased threats to the society.
He said this in his ''Sunday Samvaad'' programme as the country gears up to celebrate Navratri, Dussehra in October and Diwali, along with Chatthh puja in the month of November. It is important to note that the rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases has been on the decline in the country since the past few days.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)