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28 Jan, 2021 11:27

India has ‘successfully contained’ the Covid-19 pandemic says health minister, with no new cases in fifth of country

India has ‘successfully contained’ the Covid-19 pandemic says health minister, with no new cases in fifth of country

India’s health minister has claimed that the country has “successfully contained the pandemic,” citing a decline in the number of cases and no new infections recorded in a fifth of the nation’s districts in the past week.

"With the 'Whole of Government' and 'Whole-of-Society' approach envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has successfully contained the pandemic," Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday.

Vardhan noted the decline in case numbers, with less than 20,000 infections registered daily for the last three weeks, down from nearly 100,000 in September. The death toll has remained under 300-a-day for the last month in the nation of 1.3 billion people.

India has flattened its COVID-19 graph

"146 districts (of 718 districts in the country) have no new cases since the last seven days, 18 districts since the last 14 days, six districts since 21 days and 21 districts since the last 28 days" he said, detailing the country’s achievements.

The minister added that 165 cases of the mutant Covid-19 variant that originated in the UK have been reported so far and all patients are being kept under supervised quarantine and surveillance. 

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The comments come as the nation kicks off its inoculation campaign, with 2.4 million people receiving the jab so far. The government hopes to reach 300 million people by July-August, utilizing its capacity as the world’s largest vaccine manufacturing center. 

India has registered 10.7 million infections and 153,847 deaths since the start of the pandemic but has one of the world’s lowest death rates. This is partially attributed to the country’s youthful population, says Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, DC.

A number of studies have suggested that some areas of the country have achieved herd immunity against the virus. On Wednesday, results of a serology study in Delhi suggested between 50 and 60 percent of the population had Covid-19 antibodies. 

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