The Indian Council Of medical Research’s (ICMR) second sero-survey shows that Indians are still far from achieving herd immunity against the Coronavirus infection, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday while underlining the need for following Covid-19 precautionary measures. During an interaction with his social media followers, the minister said that ICMR is actively researching on reports of Covid-19 reinfection. He cautioned that the sero-survey report should not create a sense of complacency among people.
The first sero-survey of May 2020 had revealed that the nationwide prevalence of the novel Coronavirus infection was only 0.73 per cent. "The soon to be released second sero-survey report indicates that we are far from having achieving any kind of herd immunity which necessitates that all of us should continue following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour," Vardhan said in response to queries posed by his social media followers.
The health minister also dispelled fears regarding the phased opening of schools and advised to follow thorough protocol while visiting salons and hair spas. He also emphasized on the need for wearing masks even in places of worship. "The pandemic can only be fought when the government and society work in tandem," he was quoted as saying.
Vardhan also stated that states and UTs have been advised to lower the prices of Covid-19 tests. He said his ministry has written to the states and Union Territories to engage with private laboratories to decide upon mutually agreeable lower rates.
Vardhan also claimed that in the last few months since the outbreak of the pandemic, India had made rapid strides in the “manufacturing of ventilators, PPEs, testing kits and many medical devices.”
Responding to questions on strengthening the public health system, he talked about the Union government's commitment to "increase the public healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP from the existing 1.15 per cent to 2.5 per cent by 2025.”
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