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Herd immunity not a strategic option for tackling COVID-19 in populous country like India, says Govt

The Health Ministry on Thursday said that herd immunity in India to defeat the coronavirus pandemic is not a strategic option and that the only solution is immunisation.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: July 30, 2020 17:51 IST
Herd immunity not a strategic option for tackling COVID-19 in populous country like India, says Govt
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Herd immunity not a strategic option for tackling COVID-19 in populous country like India, says Govt

The Health Ministry on Thursday said that herd immunity in India to defeat the coronavirus pandemic is not a strategic option and that the only solution is immunisation. Addressing the media, R Bhushan, Secretary in the Ministry of Health said, "Herd immunity in a country of the size & population of India can't be a strategic option. It can only be achieved through immunisation. Health Ministry thinks it's possible in future but for now we've to follow COVID appropriate behaviour."

Herd immunity occurs when a large number of people, usually 70% to 90%, become immune to a contagious disease after being infected to it.

The Ministry said that more than 1 million people have recovered from coronavirus in the country. "More than 1 million people have recovered from Covid-19 in the country. This landmark recovery has been achieved because of the selfless work and dedication of our doctors, nurses and frontline workers," he said.

R Bhushan said 16 states of the country have a recovery rate that is more than the national average. Of these, Delhi has recovery rate of 88%, Ladakh 80%, Haryana 78%, Assam 76%, Telangana 74%, Tamil Nadu & Gujarat 73%, Rajasthan 70%, MP 69% and Goa 68%, he said.
 
He further said that less than 10% COVID-19 positivity rate is found in 21 states, UTs and that Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir have less than 5% positivity rate.
 
On Coronavirus vaccine, He said that three vaccine candidates are in phase 3 clinical trial. "These 3 are in US, UK & China. In India, 2 indigenously developed vaccine candidates are in phase 1 & 2 clinical trials. Trial of 1st vaccine involves 1150 subjects at 8 sites, 2nd on 1000 subjects at 5 sites."

When asked on prioritising how a vaccine would be distributed or administered if and when it becomes available, the Ministry said that there are multiple stakeholders within and outside government and Ministry of Health who are actively engaging with such stakeholders. "vaccine, whenever it comes will have to be administered on a much larger scale compared to the existing vaccines. This is something on which there is near unanimity."

Informing further, he said the case fatality rate in India today is 2.21% and it's among the lowest in the world and 24 States and Union Territories  have lesser fatality rate than that of the country.

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