India remained protected from the novel coronavirus because of its robust health surveillance system, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday. He also hailed qualified health professionals for “resisting” the Ebola, Nipah virus and Swine flu in the past.
Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the academic and administrative building of the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) here, the health minister said India is now in a position to achieve the WHO ‘Health for All’ goal. and to form a healthcare model that can be emulated by other countries.
He said the doctor-to-population ratio will also be as per WHO standards. “India’s robust health surveillance system has been able to stall novel coronavirus from entering the country. Similarly, ebola, nipah virus, swine flu were also resisted by qualified health professionals in the country in the past,” Harsh Vardhan said.
Speaking about the achievements in the health sector, Harsh Vardhan said the number of medical and post-graduation seats has been significantly increased.
“The number of AIIMS has gone up from 6 to 22.
Ayushman Bharat scheme has been started along with tertiary healthcare. Health and wellness centres and preventive healthcare centres have also been set up,” Harsh Vardhan said. The minister underlined that not a single woman should die of pregnancy and no child should go without vaccines.
“Besides eradication of TB and Kala-azar, zero deaths due to diarrhea, control and elimination of deaths due to Malaria are also important goals of the government,” he said.
Speaking about IIPS, Harsh Vardhan said the name of the prestigious institute often appears in health surveys, and that researchers and students passing out from the IIPS hardly remain unemployed. “Rather many of them work for the UN and other reputed organisations,” he added.
Harsh Vardhan further said the country can reap the rich dividends from these bright minds and urged them to give something concrete to the country as per its needs.
“Many milestones have been achieved in the health sector under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wants to deliver a New India by 2022. However, the last mile is yet to be reached,” he added.
He urged researchers and young professionals to come up with innovative, out-of-box ideas to resolve the unresolved issues in the healthcare sector.
As part of the Centre’s efforts to management of Novel Coronavirus (COVID19), 21,805 passengers have been brought under community surveillance. In addition, 3,97,152 flight passengers and 9,695 travellers at sea ports have been screened.