Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has ruled out community transmission of COVID-19 in India. The minister, however, expressed hope that "behavioral changes" brought about by the infection could become the "new normal" for a healthy society after the pandemic abates.
According to the latest figures published by the Union Health Ministry, 46433 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country so far. At least 1,568 people have died of the infection while 12,727 recovered. In the last 24 hours, the country has recorded 3,900 new coronavirus cases and 195 fatalities. This is the highest increase in a single day.
"The nation in a post-coronavirus future could well look back on the pandemic period as a blessing in disguise if Indians imbibe hand, respiratory and environmental hygiene and practice it in their everyday lives, " the minister said told PTI.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said health should be on the radar just as much as the economy, further stating that the "government has to do a balancing act."
"Once the havoc caused by the virus subsides and the crisis blows over, people may remember it as a blessing in disguise," Vardhan said. He added that India has so far been able to keep itself from “slipping into the stage of community transmission of the novel coronavirus”.
"By now we know that fighting coronavirus is no rocket science. If behavioral changes such as hand, environmental and respiratory hygiene, which are being practiced more rigorously during this period, get imbibed in society it will become the new normal," Vardhan said. Such practices will bring down the instances of communicable diseases and society will evolve for the better, he stressed.
(With PTI inputs)