New Delhi: With India’s single-day coronavirus figures increasing everyday and as such, questions being raised on the utility of the nationwide lockdown, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said that it was imposed in India at the right time, adding that the lockdown and all its guidelines acted as ‘potent social vaccine.’ Also Read - Harsh Vardhan Takes Charge as Chairman of WHO Executive Board

Addressing the media today, the Union Health Minister, who on Friday took charge as the chairman of the 34-member World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board, said, “Lockdown was imposed in India at the right time. Other developed countries wasted many days to take this decision. In some countries, when situation went out of control, they took the decision of lockdown and in most places it was partial lockdown.” Also Read - Harsh Vardhan Set to Take Charge as Chairman of WHO Executive Board on May 22

“If doubling rate in India before lockdown was between 3-4 days, today the doubling rate is more than 13 days. Lockdown and all its guidelines have acted as potent social vaccine,” he added. Also Read - No New COVID-19 Case Reported in 10 States, UTs in Last 24 hours, Says Harsh Vardhan

Notably, with India’s last three single-day coronavirus figures being 6767, 6654 and 6008 respectively, questions have been raised on whether the lockdown has actually been successful or not. With a spike of 6,767 cases in the last 24 hours-the highest for a day-the country’s current COVID-19 count stands at 1,31,868, including 3,867 deaths.

On Friday, the Centre-appointed Empowered Group 1 had also defended the lockdown, saying that had it not been implemented, the number of cases would have been much higher.

India is currently in the fourth stage of the nationwide lockdown, which has been in effect continuously since March 25. Initially, it was to end on April 14, but was extended to May 3, then to May 17 and, finally, to the current scheduled last date of May 31.