New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated on Sunday (March 7) that the COVID-19 pandemic which brought the whole world to its knees is in the endgame here in India, given that the people adhere to three steps.
“We are in the endgame of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and to succeed at this stage, we need to follow three steps – Keep politics out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, trust the science behind COVID-19 vaccines, and ensure our near and dear ones get vaccinated on time,” he said.
He also urged people to embrace vaccine appropriate behaviour like they adhered to the call of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, emphasising that it is the need of the hour.
“My request to everyone is that just like people embraced the ‘Jan Andolan’ for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, they should embrace another Jan Andolan for COVID-19 vaccination and get all COVID-19 vaccine shots whenever they are eligible,” the minister said.
“The government has already involved private players in COVID-19 vaccination, and if hospitals want, they can conduct vaccination 24×7,” he added.
Vardhan made these remarks during Delhi Medical Association’s (DMA) 62nd Annual Delhi State Medical Conference (MEDICON 2021) where he was felicitated for outstanding service and exemplary work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister is a past president of the association.
Dr B.B. Wadhwa, president, DMA, recalled Vardhan’s work in the polio eradication programme when he was Delhi’s health minister.
“Dr Harsh Vardhan is the pride of the medical fraternity. He has been the president of DMA in the past. We acknowledge and appreciate his exemplary missionary zeal in getting India polio-free when he was the president of DMA in 1993-1994. While serving as the health minister of Delhi, he started the novel Pulse Polio Programme which was later taken up by the whole country, and eventually by the SAARC nations. We proudly recall our association with him,” he said.
DMA made headlines recently after the association slammed its national body – Indian Medical Association – which had condemned the minister for attending a re-launch event of Patanjali Ayurveda’s drug ‘Coronil’, where the firm hailed it as the first evidence-based medicine against COVID-19.
The IMA had accused the health minister of breaching the Medical Council of India’s code of ethics by promoting a drug with uncorroborated claims of treatment. However, the DMA came out in support of its past president and dubbed the IMA’s statement against Harsh Vardhan as defamatory and an act of hogging cheap publicity.