India faces challenge of getting vaccine to people across world: Dr. Vardhan

Worldwide, India has one of the lowest daily new cases per million population (69) in the last seven days: Ministry

If 2020 was the year of discovery of COVID-19 vaccines, 2021 will be the year India faces the challenge of getting them to people across the world who most need it, said Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister and chairman of the executive board, World Health Organisation. He digitally chaired the 148th session of the Board on Tuesday, as per a release issued by the Health Ministry on Wednesday.

It added that Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the President of the U.S., also addressed the board on behalf of the Biden-Harris administration, announcing that the USA would remain a member of the WHO and fulfill its financial obligations, with continued technical collaboration at all levels, including through its collaborating centers.

Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged the role of the WHO in leading the global public health response to the outbreak, convening scientists and researchers to help accelerate the development of vaccine therapeutics and diagnostics and tracking the latest developments for keeping the member-states informed.

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The board, according to the release, welcomed the Immunisation Agenda 2030 and was unanimous in recognizing the central role played by immunisation programmes in safeguarding public health globally. Member-states also called for early and equitable availability of COVID-19 vaccines, including through the COVAX facility.

Dr. Vardhan said, “Immunisation has been a singularly successful global programme in preventing vaccine- preventable morbidity and mortality and the WHO must continue providing evidence-based and scientific advocacy to support member-states in effectively implementing the Immunisation Agenda. Vaccine coverage must continue to improve, particularly to reach vulnerable sections and reduce inequities’’.

Daily recoveries

According to data released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday, the daily recovered COVID-19 cases in the country continued to surpass the daily new cases. The daily recoveries have overtaken the daily new cases since the last 20 days and now the total cumulative recoveries stood at 1,03,59,305. “A total of 13,320 patients have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours and the national recovery rate has further grown to 96.91%,’’ noted the release.

The country’s total active caseload stood at 1,76,498 now, and worldwide, it had one of the lowest daily new cases per million population (69) in the last seven days. Kerala continued to report the highest daily new cases (6,293), followed by Maharashtra (2,405) and Karnataka (529) — 84.73% of them were from 7 States and Union Territories (UT). Seven States/UTs accounted for 83.94% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (47). Kerala followed it with 19 and Chhattisgarh 14.

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