New Delhi: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Friday hinted at extension of nationwide lockdown by 3 more weeks. “India needs 3 more weeks to flatten the curve on coronavirus pandemic”, said Harsh Vardhan, while addressing a press conference after holding a meeting via video conference with Health Ministers of States over COVID-19 situation in India. Also Read - After Odisha, Punjab Extends COVID-19 Lockdown Till May 1
Furthermore, he urged Health Ministers of states ensure that lockdown is followed 100 per cent. “I request health ministers of all states to ensure that lockdown is followed 100% in your respective states. If we lag behind in this, it will be difficult for us to win this fight against COVID-19, which has claimed 199 lives so far”, said Harsh Vardhan.
The Health Minister also said that he was very disappointed with people who misbehave and target the healthcare workers. He said that such people should be named and shamed and the society should take a stand for the medical professionals.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry also confirmed that India has three-times more hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) than required. “We have a domestic requirement of 1 crore hydroxychloroquine tablets while we have 3.28 crore hydroxychloroquine tablets available now”, said Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health.
Notably, India is the biggest manufacturer of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that is being touted as ‘game changer’ in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. India manufactures 70 per cent of the world’s supply of hydroxychloroquine. Companies like IPCA and Zydus Cadila are the major manufacturers of hydroxychloroquine in the country.