Pandemic, blessing in disguise for India: Health Minister

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said that the coronavirus pandemic has come in India as a blessing in disguise as it has given impetus to various activities under the Make in India project.

The Health Minister while addressing a video conferencing with autonomous institutes and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Department of Biotechnology, said, “this pandemic has come as a blessing in disguise for India as lots of activities have also started in make in India. We are now manufacturing PPEs and have over hundred manufacturers in the country. We are making 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh PPEs everyday in the country”.

Harsh Vardhan also said that the whole country has been waiting very anxiously for the contribution of the Indian scientists whether it is about discovery of new drug or successful trial of drugs which are used at present, or discovery of a vaccine or indigenous testing kits.

According to the Health Minister pre-lockdown the doubling rate of the cases in India was around 3 days but for the last 14 days it had been 8.2 and for the last 7 days it was 10.2. In the last 3 days it is 10.9. “This is a very significant progress,” said the Health Minister.

“A hundred and 29 districts where there are a significant number of cases, around 15 or less, we call them hotspots. These are the places where we are focusing our approach on cluster containment and disease outbreak containment strategies. There is house to house survey in five kilometers area. Right now in the last 24 hours there are 16 states which have not reported any new case,” Harsh Vardhan said.

Lauding the efforts of the Department of Biotechnology, Harsh Vardhan said that it is supporting a number of companies in research and vaccine development.

“We have made quite a progress in that direction,” said he, adding, “Genome sequencing activities have started on thousand viruses in biotechnology. Indigenous antibody test kits and RT-PCR kits are doing an exemplary job and ICMR ramped up their testing capacity. Right now we have our indigenous kits.”

The Health Minister stressed, “We all have to see that we deliver results which could be converted into useful implementable solution for the people of India.”

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