NEW DELHI: Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday that India is doing relatively well in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as talking about the way forward – vaccines.
Health Union Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 29,000 cold chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 freezers and 300 solar refrigerators will be used for this purpose. He added that all of these devices have already reached different states.
However, he also warned about adverse effects, saying such adverse effects are mainly seen in children and pregnant women after vaccination.
Also mentioned Bhushan international cases to make his point, saying that India cannot deny the possibility of adverse events when vaccination for Covid-19 begins. “Countries where immunization has already started, particularly in the UK, the adverse events occurred on the first day,” he said.
Bhushan urged states and UTs to prepare for such scenarios. He also said that the number of cases per million of population in this country continues to be among the lowest in the world. While the global average remains 9,000, the number of cases in India is 7,178 per million population.
Meanwhile, VK Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog, acknowledged how the Covid wave in Delhi has been brought under control and congratulated the government on it. But he sternly warned not to take it lightly, adding that the curve can go wrong too.
“There are some states where we still have concerns,” he said, urging the government and citizens of Uttarakhand, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh to make “every effort” to bring the current situation under control.
“This week, the Drugs Controller General of India granted the clinical trial clearance for another vaccine candidate from India,” he said. The Genoese company, he said, with help from the Center’s Biotechnology Department, has developed a vaccine.
The technology used is similar to Pfizer. However, it can be kept under normal cold chain conditions, in a regular refrigerator, unlike Pfizer, Paul added. He said six vaccines are currently in clinical trials in India.