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Coronavirus | Our biggest weapons now are mask and sanitizer, says Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Monday reiterated that the most important principle to protect oneself and others against COVID-19 is to follow basic principles of hygiene and physical distancing.

“In fight against COVID-19, our biggest weapons are the mask and the sanitizer,” he said, while distributing masks and soaps at the Old Delhi Railway Station.

Highlighting the progress in pandemic control, he said, “India has one of the highest recovery rate in the whole world. From 1 lab in January 2020, we now have 2,165 labs. More than a million people are being tested on a daily basis. We have completed 14 crore cumulative tests today. This all shows the determination of government and relentless efforts of our corona warriors whose contribution is significant in fighting the pandemic.”

Also read | Harsh Vardhan stresses on COVID-19-appropriate behaviour during festival season, winter months

India had become self-reliant in production of masks, PPE kits, ventilators etc. “More than 10 lakh PPE kits are being manufactured every day in India. And now, our scientists are instrumental in the research for the vaccine and it will be available on time,” he stated.

Dr. Vardhan urged people to follow “Do gaj ki doori’’ (six-feet distance). “A small negligence or carelessness on our part may invite serious problems. Though we have one of the lowest fatality rates in the world, even if one person succumbs to the disease, it is the biggest loss for their friends and family. This is my emotional appeal to all of you to spread the message to maximum people,” he noted.

Also read | Next 3 months key to containing COVID-19: Harsh Vardhan

45,333 new recoveries

In the last 24 hours, 38,772 persons were found to be infected and 45,333 new recoveries reported in the country, data released by the Health Ministry on Monday said.

Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh have reported highest decline in active cases in the past one month, while Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan are reporting a rise in the active caseload.

Ten States/UTs have contributed 78.31% of the new cases reported in the last 24 hours. “Kerala reported 5,643 cases in the last 24 hours, followed closely by Maharashtra, which recorded 5,544 new cases. Delhi reported another 4,906 new cases in the last 24 hours. 76.94% of the new recovered cases are contributed by 10 States/UTs,’’ the Ministry stated.

It added that 78.56% of the 443 case fatalities that have been reported in the past 24 hours were from 10 States/UTs. 19.18% of new fatalities reported were from Maharashtra, which reported 85 deaths, while Delhi saw a fatality count of 68 and West Bengal reported 54 new deaths.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 6:44:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/our-biggest-weapons-now-are-mask-and-sanitizer-harsh-vardhan/article33213398.ece

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