The virtual meet was focused on maintaining essential health services and public health programmes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke about India’s tryst with COVID-19. He highlighted how India had been preparing for the pandemic as soon as China informed WHO on 7th January.
The Minister said, India’s proactive and graded multi-level institutional response to COVID made it possible to have very low cases per million and deaths per million in spite of having a high population density.
On the efficacy of the lockdown, Dr. Harsh Vardhan expanded how it was effective in slowing down the rate of growth of cases and gave the government time to augment the health infrastructure and testing facilities. He added that from one lab in January, India has 1370 labs today. Indians anywhere can access a lab within 3 hours travel time. 33 of the 36 States and UTs exceed WHO’s recommendation of testing 140 people per million per day.