India flattens its COVID-19 graph, earns world’s trust by supplying vaccines, says Harsh Vardhan
Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan chairing the 23rd meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers on COVID-19, in New Delhi on January 28, 2021.

India flattens its COVID-19 graph, earns world’s trust by supplying vaccines, says Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi, January 28, 2021

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan today said India has managed to flatten its COVID-19 graph and also earned the global community’s trust by supplying indigenously made vaccines.

Chairing the 23rd meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “As many as 146 districts have had no new cases since the last seven days, 18 districts since the last 14 days, six districts for 21 days and 21 districts since the last 28 days. This has been achieved with pro-active testing of which more than 19.5 crores have been conducted so far. The current testing capacity rests at 12 lakhs per day.”

Out of the total active cases, only 0.46% were on ventilators, 2.20% in ICU and just 3.02% on oxygen support. The 165 cases of the UK variant reported so far were being kept under supervised quarantine and surveillance.

India has supported other countries with supply of the COVID19 vaccine during the pandemic and trained the personnel of several countries in vaccine administration. “By being a “Mitra” (friend) to the global community, India has earned global trust by supplying indigenously made vaccines at this crucial hour,” he added.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Civil Aviation and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai and Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, & Chemical and Fertilizers and Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog were present at the virtual meeting.

Dr Harsh Vardhan began the meeting by reminding everyone that the Group of Ministers constituted for management of COVID has been operational now for over a year: “The first case was reported on January 30 last year and the first meeting of the GOM constituted for COVID19 met on February 3. With the ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole-of-society’ approach envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, India has successfully contained the pandemic. Less than 12,000 cases were reported in the last 24 hours and the active caseload has reduced to just 1.73 lakh,” he added.

Dr Sujeet K Singh, Director (NCDC) presented a detailed report on the current and future scenario of COVID-19 in India, drawing comparison with the trajectory of the confirmed cases and growth rates of COVID-19 in other countries of the world. India has reported a seven-day growth rate of 0.90%, lowest among the world, he stated.

He presented a granular analysis of the trajectory of the pandemic in India pointing out critical parameters like day-wise confirmed new cases with growth rate, recovery rate, case positivity rate, the trend of active cases, the concentration of cases in particular districts and other trends like fatality and spread of new UK variant cases across different states.

He said India’s Case Fatality Ratio was showing a declining trend from 3.4% in mid-June 2020 to the current rate of 1.4% due to effective clinical management. He also said that Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu had the highest recovery rate of 99.79% followed by Arunachal Pradesh (99.58%) and Odisha (99.07%).

Kerala has a recovery rate of 91.61% because of its present high active caseload. Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kozhikode remain the top 5 districts reporting the highest number of active cases. Maharashtra and Kerala were contributing 70% of the active caseload of the country at present. He advised caution in the coming months based on the nature of transmission being witnessed in other countries and because of the mutant strain of the virus being reported throughout the world.

Through a detailed presentation, Dr Vinod K Paul, NITI Aayog and Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary apprised the GoM on the progress of development of vaccines in the country and the vaccination drive which was launched by the Prime Minister on January 16.

The Union Health Secretary showcased the logistics of the vaccination exercise and the gains made so far; 112.4 lakh doses of vaccines were distributed to States/UTs within 3 days (from January 12 to 14) prior to the start of the exercise; another additional 115.6 lakh doses to States/UTs were completed on January 20.

So far, 69,000 Programme Managers, 2.5 lakh vaccinators & 4.4 lakh other team members were trained. As many as 93,76,030 health care workers and 53,94,098 frontline workers were registered on the Co-WIN portal. He also updated on the communication strategies employed in co-ordination with the States and UTs to counter misinformation and rumour-mongering.

Dr Paul said India at present stands sixth in providing vaccination coverage and will move to third place in the next few days. The 16 AEFI hospitalizations out of 23 lakh vaccinations so far translate to just 0.0007% with no case of severe/serious AEFI or death due to vaccination reported so far. He also apprised the GoM on how India’s daily new cases trajectory compare favourably with the rest of the world.

The GoM discussed issues regarding balancing domestic requirements vis-à-vis requests from other countries for Indian vaccines. S Aparna, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, and Head of the Sub-group within NEGVAC formed for these issues, apprised the GoM on the actions taken in this regard.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary (Civil Aviation), Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary (DPIIT), Dr Balram Bhargava, Secretary (Health Research) & DG (ICMR), Dammu Ravi, Addl. Secretary (MEA), Govind Mohan, Addl. Secretary (Home Affairs), Neerja Sekhar, Additonal Secretary (Information and Broadcasting), Amit Yadav, DG, Foreign Trade (DGFT), Dr Sunil Kumar, DGHS and other senior government officials participated in the video conference.

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