NEW DELHI, Aug 23
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday (August 22, 2020) expressed that if everything goes well, India would get its first COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020.
Dr Harsh Vardhan was addressing the media after inaugurating a 10- bedded hospital at NDRF 8th Battalion Centre in Ghaziabad and said, "Everyone across the world is trying to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Over 26 vaccine candidates around the world have reached the clinical trial phases. In India, the work is currently progressing on half a dozen candidates, of which, three vaccine candidates are in first, second and third phases."
He added, "Analysing their progress, we believe that our country will have a vaccine by the end of this year after the phased trials are completed."
"Once the effective vaccines are available, we will start manufacturing and distributing it to the citizens of India," said Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The Minister also pointed out that the country now has the capacity of carrying out over ten lakh tests for COVID-19 every day and also boasts of more than 1500 laboratories.
Meanwhile, India’s coronavirus tally on Sunday (August 23) breached the 30-lakh mark after 69,239 new confirmed cases were reported in the last 24 hours.
As per the latest Union Ministry of Health's data, India's death count rose by 912 to 56,706.
Of the overall tally of 30,44,940, India now has 7,07,668 active cases whereas more than 22 lakh people have recovered from the infection.
Total 3.52 crore samples tested in India so far, says Centre
The Union Health Ministry on Sunday said that the total number of samples tested for the novel corona-virus (COVID-19) has reached 3.52 crore after more than eight lakh samples were tested for six days in a row.
The COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 7.67 percent last week from 9.67 per cent from August 3- 9, the Ministry added.
As many as 8,01,147 samples were tested for coronavirus on Saturday which has pushed the total samples tested to 3,52,92,220.
The increase in testing has also ensured steady expansion of the laboratory network. The Health Ministry said that at present a total of 1,515 labs are providing comprehensive testing facilities which include 983 Government labs and 532 private labs.
The ministry attributed the steep rise in testing to effective implementation of the aggressive testing strategy of the Centre through a focused and graded approach.
“It is only by aggressive testing that positive cases can be identified, their contacts tracked in a timely manner and promptly isolated, as well as the severe and critical patients provided the needed clinical treatment,” it said.
India’s COVID-19 tally on Sunday surged over 3 million after 69,239 cases and 912 were logged in the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry’s dashboard. The total cases include 707,668 active cases 22,80,566 recoveries and nearly 57,000 deaths. India is the only nation after Brazil and United States that has logged more than 3 million cases. Agencies