New Delhi, September 18: Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has expressed hope that COVID-19 vaccine would be available in the country by early next year. He informed that three vaccine candidates have reached the clinical trial stage of Phase one, two and three. He appealed to the people to adopt the social distancing and "Do Gaz Ki Doori" as a social vaccine till the arrival of vaccines.

He was replying to a discussion in Rajya Sabha on COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country yesterday. He said an Expert Committee is working on the development of vaccines by giving all the necessary support to the various bodies. He said, India is working with WHO and other international organizations in the direction of vaccine development. COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Says ‘3 Vaccine Candidates in Advanced Stage of Clinical Trials’.

Appreciating the role of COVID warriors in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, he said, the Prime Minister has taken every decision with the help of experts and the government tried to resolve every issue related to this disease. He said, India started the fight against the COVID-19 disease from the initial days and fought this battle in an honest and meticulous manner. He added that effective contact tracing, surveillance mechanism and lockdown reduced the number of COVID-19 cases and mortality.

The Minister said, the government provided every support to the State Government and strengthened the laboratories network across the country to improve the COVID testing mechanism. He added that the country is conducting 11 lakh COVID tests every day and within a few days India will be the first country in the total numbers of tests. He said, India has achieved self-reliance in the production of PPE kits and N-95 masks within a short span of time.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 18, 2020 09:47 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website