Published: 04th December 2021
COVID-19: Decisions like boosters, jabs for children need to be based on science, Health Minister Mandaviya says
Mandaviya said that the government would be spending Rs 100 crore in each district to ensure that states have 50-bed critical medical facility for future pandemics
Any decision on a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose (third dose) or vaccines for children would be strictly based on the recommendations made by the expert committee looking into the matter, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on December 3. He added that the decision needs to be based on pure science and knowledge and cannot be hurried or politicised.
The Minister was speaking in the Lok Sabha at the end of an over 11-hour discussion, that began on December 2, on the pandemic and the government’s response to it. Applauding the work done by the scientific community and the medical staff, he said at the nation had so far reported 3.46 crore COVID-19 cases and 4.6 lakh deaths (which is 1.36 per cent of the total cases).
“This is one of the lowest numbers in the world. The first case of COVID-19 in India was reported on January 13, 2020, in Kerala. But India held its first meeting of the joint monitoring committee constituted by the Centre earlier that month. This means that we were alert and started working immediately as the world was alerted about the virus,’’ he asserted.
Responding to multiple questions on deaths during the pandemic due to oxygen shortage, he observed that the Union government had multiple times sought data from the state governments, which had so far not given data on any specific number of cases. “A total of 19 states responded and it’s only Punjab which stated in writing that four suspected deaths were there and that too being investigated. We made it public. Still, politics is happening,” he noted.