Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.
- Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar represented India at the World Health Organization- South East Asia Regional Office (WHO-SEARO) through video-conference.
Key Highlights: India’s response to the pandemic
- India highlighted the key measures and strategies planned to ‘build back better’ to achieve Universal Health Care and health related Sustainable Development Goals and to strengthen health system resilience for the future.
- Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every sphere of life affecting lives and livelihoods it was highlighted that India’s strategy for fighting the pandemic is built on five pillars – Test, Track, Treat, Vaccinate and adherence to Covid Appropriate Behavior.
- With a decentralized but unified, whole of government approach, India focused on rapidly creating COVID dedicated infrastructure and upskilling our healthcare workforce.
- Inter-sectoral coordination facilitated by establishing high level inter-ministerial groups and communication with states, other stakeholders and community at large facilitated a Jan Andolan (people’s movement) for managing the pandemic.
- Legal and policy provisions like The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act, 2020; Disaster Management Act, 2005 available to the Union and sub-national jurisdictions, provided the enabling framework to operationalize all aspect of pandemic management by clarifying roles, responsibilities while facilitating inter-sectoral coordination as governance from national to local levels.
- Further, technical support by Union Government on containment, treatment protocol and all aspects of Covid management ensured a unified response.
- Specific efforts to strengthen the core capacities in terms of laboratory, hospital infrastructure, R & D on diagnostics, vaccines, essential logistic and upgradation of human resources were undertaken along with the development of indigenous capacities in terms of essential logistics including personal protective equipment, diagnostics, ventilators and vaccine manufacturing capacities.
- Similarly digital innovations like ICMR Testing Portal aided monitoring of trajectory of infection across the country; IT applications like “AarogyaSetu” supported contact tracing and COWIN monitored the mammoth vaccination efforts; tele-medicine and e-ICU improved outreach to patients for both COVID and non-COVID essential health services.
- Realizing the indirect impact of COVID-19 especially on the poor and marginalized sections of society, a number of social security measures including supply of food grains, minimum income support schemes, support for small industries, support for children who have lost their parents due to COVID-19 and other economic measures were taken to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
- India utilized the existing infrastructure of the Universal Immunization Programme which was augmented to ensure cold chain maintenance besides managing required logistics of vaccines and syringes.
- Co-WIN digital platform supported transparent registration and tracking of every beneficiary for COVID-19 vaccination along with real time information on the available stocks of vaccine, their storage temperature, digital certificates.
World Health Organization Regions
- The World Health Organization (WHO) divides the world into six WHO regions, for the purposes of reporting, analysis and administration.
- One of the six WHO Regions, WHO South-East Asia is home to over a quarter of the world’s population.