Harsh Vardhan hopes for ‘very significant control’ over COVID-19 by Diwali


Team Udayavani, Aug 31, 2020, 8:19 AM IST

Bengaluru: Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Sunday, August 20 expressed hope that we should have “very significant control” over COVID-19 by Diwali.

“Hopefully that in the next couple of months, maybe by Diwali time, we should have very significant control over the coronavirus,” Harsh Vardhan said. Diwali will be celebrated on November 14 this year.

Addressing the Nation First webinar series organized by Ananthkumar Foundation, he said that experts like Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty and Dr C.N. Manjunath will probably agree that after some time COVID-19 will also become endemic like many other viruses, which have come to the globe in the past.

“But the virus has taught us a certain lesson; it has taught us there has to be a new normal and we need to be more diligent about, more cautious, about our lifestyle…,” he added.

Harsh Vardhan also expressed hope about having a vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of this year.

“We are not lagging behind anyone else in the whole world in our efforts to contribute towards the vaccine against COVID… In India, we have about 7-8 vaccine candidates, three of them in the clinical trial phases, and rest in the pre-clinical trials and by the end of this year, we hope to be able to get a vaccine against COVID,” he said.

Harsh Vardhan said that there was only one lab equipped to test for COVID-19 in February. This has now increased to 1,583 nationwide, and out of this, more than 1,000 are government labs.

The country is conducting about 1 million tests per day, which is way ahead of the target, he said.

Noting that there is no more scarcity of PPE kits, ventilators, and N95 masks in the country, Harsh Vardhan further said every day five lakh PPE kits are produced in the country, while 10 manufacturers are producing N95 masks, and 25 producers are manufacturing ventilators.

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