Service of COVID-19 warriors enabled India to move towards unprecedented victory: Harsh Vardhan

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Bhopal, Mar 13 (PTI) Selfless service and sacrifice made by health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered forever as it has enabled the country to move towards an 'unprecedented victory', Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.

He also said that India's case recovery rate was the highest while the death rate is the lowest in the world.

'These are our COVID warriors. Their labour, dedication and selfless service for the entire one year in the fight against COVID has enabled the country to move towards an unprecedented victory,' the minister said as he inaugurated various facilities at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.

Vardhan said family members of health professionals too have played a crucial role during the pandemic.

India recorded the highest number of daily novel coronavirus cases in 83 days on Saturday.

The Union Health Ministry reported 24,882 fresh COVID-19 infections, up from 23,285 the day earlier and in keeping with a graph steadily inching upwards. This is the highest daily rise since December 20 when 26,624 new infections were recorded.

Vardhan further said the country made a rapid progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last six years.

The health minister said then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee started the journey to increase the number of AIIMS from one to six, while PM Modi led this journey to take the number of AIIMS from six to 22.

He said the number of seats for MBBS course has risen by around 30,000 in the last 6 to 7 years while the number of seats for post-graduate (medical) courses has gone up by approximately 24,000 in this period.

Moreover, health was given a 137 per cent hike in the Union budget 2021-22, Vardhan said, adding that 1.75 crore poor people have been treated free under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana so far. PTI LAL NSK NSK