Covid-19 vaccine may arrive by early next year: Harsh Vardhan

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Dr Harsh Vardhan (Screengrab from a video)
Dr Harsh Vardhan (Screengrab from a video)

New Delhi : Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday told Parliament that he expects a vaccine for coronavirus in the country by the beginning of next year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, has been personally monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the country.

"India is making efforts just like other countries," Dr Harsh Vardhan told Rajya Sabha. PM Modi, he said, is handling the COVID-19 situation "meticulously."

"Under PM Modi's guidance, an expert group is looking at it and we have advanced planning in place. We are hopeful that by the beginning of the next year, a vaccine will be available in India," he said in his address in the Upper House regarding the coronavirus situation in the country.

Ever since the first case of coronavirus was registered in the nation, Ministers from state and Cabinet have been fighting the battle together to keep situation under control. 

"All chief ministers have fought this battle along with the Prime Minister," he said, adding that detailed advisories were circulated even before the first coronavirus case was detected in the country on January 30.

"Extensive contact-tracing was undertaken for that case. For the first case, 162 contacts were traced. That is how we started our history of contact tracing," the Union Minister added.

He also elaborated his recent claim that how India averted around 14 to 29 lakh cases by imposing lockdown in the nation.

Meanwhile, the number of active cases in the country has crossed the 10-lakh mark for the first time, data from Health Ministry shows.

With 1,132 deaths linked to the virus in 24 hours, the total number of fatalities stands at 83,198.