Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday 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,” Mr Vardhan said.
Addressing the Nation First webinar series organised by Ananthkumar Foundation, he said experts like Dr Devi Prasad Shetty and Dr C N Manjnath will probably agree that after some time this 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.
Mr 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.
The Minister said there was only one lab in February which has now increased to 1,583 nationwide, and out of this more than 1,000 are government labs.
The country is conducting about one 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, Mr 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.