Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare today chaired theplenary session on “Challenges of Post COVID – Scenario in Health, Economy, Social and International Relations” of the annual conference of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas through video conference. The 16th Convention being held physically at Mutthamma Hall is themed ‘Facing Post-COVID challenges”.
The Union Health Minister in his speech called attention to the need for global partnership during such times of global crisis. He said, “The current pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerability of humankind to exigencies, recognizing that we have to strive to act with greater speed and predictability. The pandemic has made humanity acutely aware of the consequences of ignoring the strengthening and preparedness of our healthcare systems. In such times of global crisis, both risk management and mitigation would require further strengthening of global partnerships to re-invigorate interest and investment in global public health.We need to conquer the adversaries with collaborations and by supplementing each other by pooling our resources.We need an aggressive roadmap to curtail deaths from diseases that can be eliminated. We need a fresh roadmap to address global shortages of medicines and vaccines. I would like to work with all of you on these goals and roadmaps. Constant engagement with all of you who carry vast experiences of many countries will reinforce reforms and help accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable development goals and universal health coverage with the most productive, efficient and targeted utilization of resources.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan underscored the Post-Covid challenges, strategies and International Relations. He stated “India has finally built a fine state-of-the-art real time digital platform for COVID-19 vaccination delivery called Co-WIN.We will work towards making low cost, safe and effective vaccines available to the whole world.A critical part of our strategy involves maintaining confidence in the safety of vaccines in the possibility of Adverse Events following Immunization.”
Speaking on COVID and how India has fought this battle against a deadly virus with its pre-emptive, proactive, and graded approach, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “India has reported the highest recoveries. With our endeavour to manage COVID-19 through a whole of government and whole of society approach, India has been able to limit the cases and deaths.”
Highlighting the political commitment of India’s leadership in this regard, he said, “Under the overall guidance of Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi ji, the government swung into action and had the first meeting on the novel virus on 8th January last year. The government constituted 11 Empowered Groups on 29th March 2020 on different aspects of COVID-19 management in the country to take informed decisions on issues ranging from medical emergency planning to technology and data management.”
Applauding the positive outcomes of the country’s continued efforts, he observed, “From a situation of a single laboratory equipped to undertake testing for COVID in January, there are presently 2,316 laboratories conducting COVID-19 Testing. Currently the testing exceeds 10 lakhs a day. We have reached an indigenous production capacity of more than 10 lakh diagnostic kits per day from a level of zero.”
The Minister also applauded the work of frontline workers and expressed his deep gratitude towards them: “Despite various constraints and challenges, our COVID warriors rose to the occasion and served humanity. The country feels indebted to the doctors, nurses, paramedics, frontline field workers, security and police personnel, sanitary workers, volunteers and journalists who have worked tirelessly to protect our countrymen from COVID.”
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also spoke on the Prime Minister’s cherished project- Ayushman Bharat. The ambitious schemeaims at Universal Health for providing free health insurance to over 500 million people, making it the world’s largest health insurance scheme.