On April 23, 2020, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), participated in the Virtual interactive session with Health Ministers of member countries of World Health Organization (WHO) on the measures being taken against the battle of COVID-19.Key Points:
i.Dr. Harsh Vardhan mentioned that India’s response has been proactive, pre-emptive and graded in handling situations arising out of the COVID-19 outbreak.
ii.Since, India was first to respond to COVID-19 and stands on a better footing than the rest of the world because of the valuable and sincere services of the Government agencies under the leadership of Prime Minister (PM) Shri Narendra Modi.
iii.Steps taken by India against COVID-19: Initially, India had only one lab at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune, Maharashtra to perform tests but during the last 3 months, India have increased the number of government labs to 230 aided by another 87 private labs with more than 16,000 collection centers.
iv.India have tested more than 5 Lakh people for COVID-19 till date and the government is going to increase the number of government labs to 300 and increase the testing capacity from 55,000 to 1,00,000 per day by May 31, 2020.
v.Treatment facilities: The Government of India (GOI) has classified COVID-19 treatment facilities based on the severity of diseases into 3 categories: COVID Care Centers for patients with mild symptoms, COVID Health Care Centers – for patients with medium symptoms and Dedicated COVID Hospitals for patients with severe symptoms.
vi.India has 2,033 dedicated facilities in the country with more than 1,90,000 isolation beds, more than 24,000 ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds and more than 12,000 ventilators.
vii.The Health Minister also highlighted the effectiveness of ‘Aarogya Setu’ mobile application, which has been downloaded by more than 7.2 Crore people in India.
viii.The mobile application was developed by the GOI to connect essential health services with the people of India in our combined fight against COVID-19.
About Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Headquarters– New Delhi.
Cabinet Minister– Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Minister of State (MoS)– Ashwini Kumar Choubey.