Greetings to you all!!
This is our first meeting after Unlock-One. Yesterday, I have discussed in detail about the experiences of Unlock-One in 21 states and Union Territories of the country. In reality, the spread of Coronavirus is higher in some of the big states and cities. In some cities, overcrowding, small houses, lack of physical distancing in the streets and movement of thousands of people everyday have made the fight against Corona pandemic more challenging.
Yet, due to the discipline of every citizen in the country, the preparedness of the administration and the dedication of our Corona warriors, we have not let the situation go out of control. Due to timely tracing, treatment and reporting, the number of people recovering from the virus is continuously rising. It is a matter of great relief that only a very few patients are in need of ICU and ventilator care.
Due to the correct steps taken on time, we have all been able to combat this great danger. The discipline shown by the people of the country during the lockdown has prevented the exponential growth of the virus. Today we are in a much more stable position in terms of treatment, health infrastructure and trained manpower.
You are also aware that just three months ago, there was an outcry for PPEs and diagnostic kits not only inIndia but also in several countries of the world. There was a limited stock in India too, as we were completely dependent on imports. But today more than 1 crore PPEs and the same number of N95 masks have been provided to different states. We have sufficient stock of Diagnostic Kits and their production capacity has also been greatly increased. Now the supply of ventilators made in India under the PM-Cares fund has also begun.
Today, there are more than 900 testing labs for Coronavirus across the country, lakhs of Covid special beds, thousands of quarantine and isolation centres, and adequate oxygen supplies to facilitate patients. Lakhs of human resource have been trained during the lockdown. And most importantly, today every citizen of the country has become much aware about this virus than before. All this has been possible only because of the local administration working day in and day out, in collaboration with the state governments.
Amid these reassuring factors of our victory in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic, we must continue to emphasize on health infrastructure, information systems, emotional support and public participation in a similar manner.
Considering the increasing number of patients of Coronavirusour topmost priorityshould be expanding health infrastructure and saving every life. This will only happen when every Coronavirus patient gets proper treatment. For this, we have to place more emphasis on testing, so that we can trace, track and isolate the infected person as soon as possible. We also have to keep in mind that our existing testing capacity is fully utilized and is constantly upgraded and expanded.
A large number of quarantine and isolation centres have been set up during the last two-three months. We have to increase its speed so that patients do not face shortage of beds anywhere. The importance of Telemedicine has also grown amidst the Corona pandemic. We have to increase our efforts to ensure that everyone, be it the people in home quarantine or isolation, or those suffering from other diseases, get the benefit of Telemedicine.
You are well aware of the fact that the right information at the right time is very crucial in dealing with any pandemic. So we also have to see to it that our help lines are helpful and not helpless. Just as our medical and paramedical staffs are fighting a battle against Corona in the hospitals, we need to create large teams of senior doctors who can guide the sick through Telemedicine, providing them with the right information. Besides, we also have to raise an army of young Volunteers who can run the helpline effectively for the public.
The states with high downloads of AarogyaSetu App have shown very positive results. We have to constantly try to increase the reach of the AarogyaSetu App so that more and more people can download it. We also have to keep in mind that now the monsoon is gradually advancing in the country. It is very important to deal with the health problems that come up with this season. Otherwise this too can become a major challenge.
There is also an emotional aspect of the fight against Corona. We also have to find ways by which we can pull our citizens out of the stigma born out of the fear of the virus. We have to assure our people that the number of people who have defeated Coronavirus is very high and it is increasing rapidly. Therefore, if someone contracts Coronavirus, he/she must not panic.
It should be our priority to provide essential services and ensure the required facilities to our Corona warriors, such as our doctors and other healthcare workers. It is the responsibility of all of us, the entire nation, to look after them at every level.
In the fight against Corona pandemic we have to constantly motivate people from civil society and every other field of the society. They have played a commendable role in this entire fight. We have to repeatedly remind people about mask or face-cover, physical distancing and sanitization process in our public places and offices. We should not allow anyone to be careless in this matter.
Many states are doing yeoman service in the fight against Corona pandemic. It is important to share the good practices of these states. I believe that every state will place here their experiences and suggestions with open mind. It will help us in forming a better strategy in the coming days. I would now request the Home Minister to take the discussions forward.