Till Vaccine is Rolled out, Masks and Physical Distancing only Medicines against Covid-19: Amit Shah

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With major festivals like Navratri and Diwali around the corner, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that people should certainly celebrate them but while doing so they ought to protect themselves against coronavirus by wearing masks, maintaining distance and sanitizing hands.

Shah was speaking exclusively to CNN News18 in his first interview since he recovered from Covid-19 disease last month. Shah had tested positive for coronavirus in August and was initially admitted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon. Later he was moved to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi and was discharged at the end of August. In September, he was admitted in AIIMS once again and the hospital had said at the time that he was undergoing a complete medical checkup prior to the Parliament session.

“Till such a time that there is a drug or vaccine, the PM’s appeal of wearing masks, sanitizing hands and maintaining distance is the only medicine. We should save ourselves against Coronavirus,” Shah said.

“Under the Prime Minister’s leadership, we have fought a successful fight against coronavirus. If you see all parameters of cases per million, deaths per million and recovery rate, India is in top three on these counts. All Indians should undertake to resolve for a complete victory over coronavirus. If we follow the three mantras of wearing masks, maintaining distance and sanitizing hands religiously, it can save many people from this virus,” Shah added.

The Home Minister said that with festivals around the corner, people need to be more vigilant during celebrations. He advocated for people to celebrate festivals albeit by first protecting themselves against the virus in order to overcome it.

When asked about the expectations around the roll out of a vaccine, Shah said that he was not the best person to ask about it since it is subject to scientific scrutiny and protocols. “My assessment on vaccine is not of any use. There are international standards and till such time those standards are not fulfilled, a vaccine cannot be administered. Scientists and international institutions, ICMR will decide if the vaccine is fit to be rolled out,” Shah said.