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India's COVID-19 response stands out: National Health Authority

India's COVID-19 response stands out: National Health Authority

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New Delhi [India], October 5 (ANI): As India's Coronavirus tally currently stands at 66.23 lakh which includes 55.86 lakh patients recovering from the disease and 1.02 lakh deaths, according to the latest update by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday, Vipul Aggarwal, Deputy CEO of National Health Authority hails India's COVID-19 response saying that "it stands out".
"India stands out in terms of its COVID response. Our fatality rate is one of the lowest in the world. Our hospitals are capable of handling cases. For a developing country, the response is satisfactory and we're trying to live up to expectations," Aggarwal said while exclusively speaking to ANI.
He added, "If we see that when this pandemic came before us, our health facilities -- especially with the kind of infrastructure we had -- were not geared up at that stage. But coming from there and becoming the second-largest producer of PPE kits in a span of four-five months--it cannot be called as less than any achievement."
Over 2.5 lakh people have been treated and at least 5 lakh people received free testing for COVID-19 in the last few months under Ayushman Bharat.
"We have provided treatment to over 2.5 lakh people and close to 5 lakh people have availed the benefits of free testing for COVID-19. In our helpline of 14555, we attended close to 3 lakh calls in the last four-five months. Those people who were at high risk for COVID-19, we have also issued a COVID advisory as well," he said.
He added that the NHA has also provided the assist for migrant labourers during the pandemic by providing them with a "Digi-locker" facility.
"We also provided a Digi locker facility for those who were travelling from one state to another so that they would not have to avail their e-card physically. And with the help of our portability feature, they can avail free treatment in any hospital," Deputy CEO added.
With regard to the challenge faced by the NHA while tackling the pandemic, the deputy CEO said that there was a challenge as the people "were not coming out" due to the fear of COVID-19 adding that due to the lack of resources, the hospitals were not confident.
"The challenge was that people were not coming out due to the fear of COVID-19 and because of the restrictions, the hospitals were not confident to get empanelled. At the same time, we had to make people realise that the treatment (for Coronavirus disease) is available--especially at the grassroots level," the NHA deputy CEO said.
Aggarwal further said that India, as a country, "has matured" in the way it handles infectious diseases adding that "In the longer run, in India, which has a lot of communicable diseases; the learning would go a long way in understanding and reducing the disease burden in the future."
On the subject of providing treatment to non-COVID patients during the pandemic, he said that while the Centre would be focusing more on treatments for the coronavirus, aspects of senior citizens and the economically weaker people "weren't being left out".
"People having cancer and chronic renal fever also needed treatment, and for the same purpose, we went for an aggressive hospital empanelment drive. We conducted awareness drives with our partners and tried to ensure that we had an adequate number of beds not just for COVID but non-COVID patients as well," he said. (ANI)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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