COVID-19: Smaller states showing upward trend, need to be cautious, says Dr Harsh Vardhan

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Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (file pic/ANI).
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (file pic/ANI).

New Delhi [India], May 19 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, while holding a meeting on public health response to COVID-19 and progress of vaccination in West Bengal and northeastern states, said smaller states are showing an upward trend and there is a need to be cautious about this.

"Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted that now the smaller states are showing an upward trend and there is a need to be cautious about this trend. He asked the states to focus on increasing testing in a timely manner along with upgrading the health infrastructure," the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

The Minister said that with changes in guidelines, more and more of antigen tests can be done now, so that mortality rates can be decreased. "He reiterated the need to focus on peri urban and rural areas significantly," the statement added.

He also stressed on the continued need to follow COVID-19-appropriate behaviour along with renewed and stringent focus on containment measures for addressing the present surge.

Harsh Vardhan further applauded the dedication and patience shown by state administrations in their fight against the pandemic and in simultaneously ensuring the welfare of the people.

"We fought together in 2020 and will fight together in 2021 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.

Lauding the government's efforts in tackling the pandemic in the country, Dr Harsh Vardhan added, "From having just one laboratory at the start of the pandemic, today there are over 2000 laboratories for testing COVID across the country. We have increased our capacity to test 25 lakh people daily. Yesterday, India achieved a historical first by testing the highest number of over 20 lakh people in a single day. This is a global record too."

Further informing that India will have procured 216 crore vaccine doses between August to December, he said that 51 crore doses will be procured by July itself.

The Union Health Minister also said that the country will be in a position to vaccinate at least all of its adult population by the end of the year. (ANI)