Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked the heads of all AIIMS and central government hospitals on Wednesday to be the frontrunners in showcasing the importance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, which will act as a "social vaccine" to curb the spread of the disease in the country, in view of the upcoming festival season and winter.
The next two-and-a-half months are going to be crucial in the battle against the coronavirus because of the winter and festive season, Vardhan said as he urged people not to let their guard down and to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour to curb the spread of the infection, the health ministry said in a statement.
Vardhan held a meeting through video-conferencing to review the activities launched under the "Jan Andolan" campaign on COVID-appropriate behaviour with the heads of all AIIMS and central government hospitals here, the statement said.
He urged people across the country to follow the clarion call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of the "Jan Andolan" launched on October 8 and follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.
"The virus has adversely affected the whole world. But simple precautionary measures are effective in preventing the coronavirus to a large extent. Wearing mask/face cover, especially in public spaces, and following hand and respiratory etiquettes are the cardinal principles of social vaccine," Vardhan was quoted as saying in the statement.
He stressed on the importance of physical distancing for effective containment of the disease.
"The Union minister asked all the heads of medical institutions to be the frontrunners in showcasing the importance of this social vaccine to break the chain of transmission of the disease in the country," the statement said.
On the country's fight against COVID-19, Vardhan said, "India is continuously recording new milestones in the treatment of COVID-19. Our recovery rate is the highest in the world and the fatality is among the lowest in the world.
"The active cases are constantly declining. All the parameters have proven the success of the COVID-19 containment strategy followed by all states and Union territories. We have successfully ramped up our testing capacity, which has crossed nine crore today. India has also become self-reliant now in terms of masks and PPE kits, which we earlier used to import."
He also urged the heads of the medical institutes to play a leadership role in motivating people and spreading awareness by organising meetings with influential persons, local NGOs, schools etc., the statement said.
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