Two months after he announced that a unique health ID will be provided to every citizen under the National Digital Health Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday indicated that the “digital health ID will be used to ensure immunisation”.
Addressing the inaugural function of the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020, the Prime Minister said, “…India is now at the forefront of vaccine development for Covid-19. Some of them are in advanced stages. We are not stopping here; India is already working on putting a well-established vaccine delivery system in place. This digitised network, along with the digital health ID, will be used to ensure immunisation of our citizens.”
In his Independence Day address, the PM had said that the Unique Health ID provided to every citizen would have details of diseases, diagnosis, report, medication, etc. in a common database.
As reported by The Indian Express, a high-level expert group on vaccine administration is looking at mechanisms to track recipients as and when the vaccine is ready to be administered; this is because there could be two or three doses, and population groups must be followed accurately.
The Prime Minister underlined India’s global reputation on vaccine manufacturing. “Beyond Covid too, India is known for its proven capacity to produce vaccines at a low cost. More than 60 per cent of the vaccines for global immunisation are being manufactured in India. We included the indigenous Rotavirus vaccine in our Indradhanush immunisation programme. This is a successful example of a strong partnership for long-lasting results. The Gates Foundation has also been a part of this effort,” he said.
“With India’s experience and research talent, we will be at the centre of global health care efforts. We want to help other nations, enhance their capacities, in these sectors.”
Disease, Modi said, does not discriminate on grounds of religion or race, and the global community must fight it together. “..It has taken a global pandemic to make us realise, yet again, the importance of teamwork. After all, disease does not have geographic boundaries; disease does not discriminate on the grounds of faith, race, gender, or colour,” he said.
“…India’s size, scale, and diversity has always made the global community curious. Our population is almost four times that of the US; many of our states have as many people as other nations in Europe and Asia. Yet, thanks to people power and a people-driven approach, India kept its Covid-19 death rate very low. Today, we are seeing a decline in the number of cases per day and in the growth rate of cases. India has one of the highest recovery rates of 88 per cent. This happened because India was one of the first countries to adopt a flexible lockdown, when the total cases were just a few hundred,” the Prime Minister said.
“…India was one of the first to encourage the usage of masks. India actively began to work on effective contact tracing; it was one of the earliest to deploy the rapid antigen tests.”
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