New Delhi: India is on the cusp of approving its first set of COVID-19 vaccine, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday (December 19, 2020).  Vardhan made the announcement while chairing the virtual meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 as India crossed the one crore infection mark.

The Minister expressed the need for an expeditious vaccination drive which would cover around 30 crore people, the estimated target population in the next six to seven months.

In the 22nd meeting of the GoM, the minister reiterated his concern and appeal to diligently maintain the COVID-19 precautions, and said we should follow coronavirus guidelines even at a time “when the country is at the cusp of authorizing the first set of vaccines”.

The health minister expressed his gratitude to all coronavirus warriors for their steadfast approach and gritty service. He said that India`s COVID-19 growth has dropped to 2 per cent and the case fatality rate is amongst the lowest in the world at 1.45 per cent.

“India`s Recovery Rate has peaked to 95.46 per cent, while the strategy of testing 1 million samples has decreased the Cumulative Positivity Rate to 6.25 per cent,” he added.

He also observed that even in the festive months of October and November there was no new surge of COVID-19 cases due to comprehensive testing, tracking and treatment policy implemented on the ground.

Harsh Vardhan was joined by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State Health & Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, Member (Health) NITI Aayog Vinod K. Paul, Advisers to the Prime Minister Amarjeet Sinha and Bhaskar Khulbe.

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