Reading newspapers is safe during ongoing COVID pandemic: Dr Harsh Vardhan


New Delhi: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan said newspapers are completely safe and not a source of coronavirus infection.

The Union Minister said reading newspapers is completely safe even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Union Health Minister stated during Sunday Samvaad-6 that charity must take precedence over celebration. Dr Harsh Vardhan shared his views on the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Kerala.

He said between January 30 and May 3, Kerala had reported just 499 cases and two deaths due to COVID-19. But, Kerala was paying the price of gross negligence during the recent Onam festivities when State-wise unlocking of services.

Dr Harsh Vardhan assured that as of yet, no mutation of coronavirus has been detected in India, which is either more transmission efficient or more pathogenic.

Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed his satisfaction that his Ministry is not far behind in the shift to online education in midst of the pandemic. Medical colleges and institutions in India are conducting online classes for MBBS students which have been approved by the National Medical Commission.

The Minister assured that there is no shortage in Medical Oxygen and the current oxygen production capacity of India is nearly 6400 MT/Day.

He assured that the Government is ready to scale up the production capacity in order to meet any further increase in demand arising due to the pandemic.

Dr Harsh Vardhan clarified that the Phase III Clinical Trial is generally with thousands of participants, sometimes even close to 30,000 to 40,000 participants. It is possible that from a specific city or hospital, couple of hundred participants are selected at a given time, but in general, the overall Phase III participant pool is much larger.

The Minister said that in the last six years, the Department of Science and Technology through its various schemes especially targeting women scientists, has contributed to improving gender ratio and the improvement is evident today specially at the lower level in scientific establishments.


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