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Next 2.5 months crucial in fight against coronavirus: Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi, Oct 16: The next two-and-a-half months are going to be crucial in the fight against coronavirus because of the winter season and festivals, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday.

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan

Vardhan, who is also Science and Technology Minister, said three vaccine candidates are progressing well in India with one of them in the advanced stage-III clinical trial and two others in stage-II trial.

He expressed hope that India will soon have indigenous production of vaccine against coronavirus.

The next two-and-a-half months are going to be very crucial for us in our fight against corona because of the winter season and the festival season. It becomes the responsibility of every citizen to not let our guard down and follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to curb the spread of the infection, Vardhan said.

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The minister was chairing a meeting on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour with heads/directors of institutions of the Department of Science and Technology and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

He said 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 said.

He stressed on the importance of physical distancing for effective containment of the disease.

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    On the country's fight against COVID-19, the minister said India is continuously recording new milestones in treatment of COVID-19.

    Our recovery rate is highest in the world and the fatality is among the lowest. 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 to meet the requirements. India also has now become self-reliant in terms of masks, PPE kits and ventilators which we earlier used to import, the minister said.

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