New Delhi, Feb 8 : Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan presided over the distribution of masks and soaps by the Indian Red Cross Society to various transport unions on Monday.
Harsh Vardhan said, “Having the vaccine does not mean that we should be complacent. In fact, all the preventive measures should be followed by all of us now and in near future too.”
At the event, Harsh Vardhan said he was very happy to be a part of the initiative of distributing masks as part of the COVID 19 response activities. He stated that in Delhi masks have been distributed at the railway stations, sabzi mandi and other places as the rate of infection is high in these areas.
Acknowledging the efforts of the IRCS and emphasizing the need for COVID appropriate behaviour even after the development of vaccine, Harsh Vardhan said, “I am happy to highlight that the vaccine made in our own country for the prevention of COVID has been approved and the Government of India have already started the largest vaccination drive in the world. But having the vaccine does not mean that we should be complacent. In fact, all the preventive measures must be followed by all of us now and in the near future, as well. Considering this, it is praiseworthy that IRCS is continuing the distribution of masks from the prevention perspective.”
Stressing on the importance of such activities, Vardhan said, “The mask distribution is a token of the significance of mask and hand hygiene. The road transport drivers and helpers keep travelling throughout the country and are vulnerable to infection. The masks being distributed by IRCS will be of great help in preventing the COVID infection.”
Talking about the COVID situation in India, the minister highlighted the progress in COVID parameters and said, “India has one of the highest Recovery Rate in the whole world. The positive cases are also declining and stand at 1.48 lakh as of today. From one lab in January 2020, we now have 2373 labs. We have a capacity to conduct more than a million tests a day. We have completed 20 crore cumulative tests. This is a result of ‘whole of Government’ and ‘whole of Society’ approach.”
He stated, “India has not only become self reliant in production of masks, PPE kits, ventilators etc but is also in a position to export these. More than 58 lakh beneficiaries have been vaccinated till now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the vaccination drive and appealed to all the healthcare workers to get the vaccine. We have also started vaccinating the frontline workers from the month of February.”
Dismissing the misinformation and rumours around the vaccine, he said, “Many people are trying to spread misinformation and rumours related to the vaccine. I appeal to the people to not believe in any such rumours.”
Secretary General, IRCS, R. K. Jain and representatives of transport unions were present at the event.