Covid India better prepared to tackle any challenge says Harsh
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NEW DELHI: Partial lockdowns corresponding to night time curfew and weekend lockdowns wouldn’t have a lot affect on the transmission cycle of coronavirus, well being minister Harsh Vardhan mentioned, underlining the necessity for proof primarily based public well being measures corresponding to ramping up of the continuing vaccination drive towards Covid-19 to maintain a examine on the second wave.
“Physical distancing is a longtime non-pharmaceutical intervention to suppress/include the transmission of the Covid virus. The modality for making certain such physical distancing measures need to be proof primarily based. In this context, partial lockdowns corresponding to night time curfews or weekend lockdowns wouldn’t have a lot affect on the transmission cycle,” Vardhan mentioned throughout an interplay within the Times Network India Economic Conclave.
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Emphasising on the need to first protect those who are at a greater risk of mortality due to Covid-19 and those who are involved in the response to pandemic, Vardhan said the government plans to expand the vaccination drive by following an approach of relaxing the age groups of target beneficiaries eligible for immunization.
“Government is working round the clock evaluating various parameters with the intent to expand the umbrella of coverage to other sections of the population,” Vardhan said.
“The history of coronavirus is unknown, the disease Covid-19 is very dynamic in its behaviour, so from day one we are only relying on evolving scientific evidence to drive our decision making to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Our containment strategies to check the spread of the virus that have been praised the world over were based on such scientific inputs. We are carrying out genome sequencing of the virus to keep a track of any changes in its propensity or nature. The vaccination drive is being conducted in accordance with emerging science-based data analyzed through scientific algorithms,” he added.
Stressing on the need for states to ramp up vaccination, particularly in areas with high number of daily Covid-19 cases, Vardhan said incremental increase in the priority age groups for vaccination will lead to check in the second, even as he maintained that the second wave was inevitable.
“India followed a graded, pre-emptive, proactive, whole of government and society approach in tackling the pandemic in the country. The graded opening up of economy and commercial activities followed a sustained decline in Covid-19 epi-curve in the country. This was essential to negate the economic impact that Covid-19 has had globally, including India. Historically, the pandemics of the past have come in waves and Covid is no exception. This was amply witnessed when the second wave hit Europe and Americas. It still eludes the scientific community why pandemics behave in this way,” Vardhan said.
The minister maintained that India is better prepared to face the challenges thrown by Covid-19 now, even as the scenario of the pandemic continues to evolve.
Vardhan said vaccination forms a crucial part of the pandemic response strategy even as there is no clarity on whether it can prevent transmission and what is the duration of protection after vaccination. However, he maintained that if a particular section of the population receives the vaccine, it is likely to build herd immunity.
He also said that around six vaccines are in different stage of trial, and will be granted permission as and when they complete all statutory requirements.

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