India attends Shanghai Cooperation Organization Health Ministers’ Meeting

On July 24, 2020, Union Health Minister of India Dr Harsh Vardhan attended Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Health Ministers’ meeting.

Highlights

During the meet, India placed its following stands

  • India is using TruNat and CBNAAT tests in addition to antigen-based testing to test COVID-19
  • India has increased its Personal Protective Equipment capacity. Earlier, India was importing PPEs as there were no manufacturers of PPE in the country. Today India has become self-sufficient in PPEs.
  • India uses Arogya Setu Application and ITIHAS to track COVID-19 spread and RT-PCR application for testing.

During the meet, the minister highlighted that India has taken bold measures of implementing lockdown at the earliest. The disease surveillance programme of India has enrolled 3.2 million persons for community-based follow ups.

India had only one laboratory testing for COVID-19 in January 2020. Today there are more than 1300 laboratories testing for COVID-19. This includes both private and public laboratories. All these laboratories can conduct RT-PCR testing. It is to be noted that RT-PCR is the most reliable test and it requires a greater number of experts to complete a single test. Hence, having a greater number of laboratories with RT-PCR facility is certainly commendable.

Suggestions

India made following suggestions in the meet

  • India suggested to set up a new group of traditional medicines
  • India also suggested to conduct free online seminars on COVID-19

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