India has three Covid-19 vaccines under trial and will ensure that every person receives a vaccine, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage to those battling the Indian coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Modi has launched a National Digital Health Initiative to improve India’s healthcare system, which is expected to include the digitization of health records as well as a national registry of doctors and health facilities.
Each Indian will receive a health tag, Mr Modi said while addressing the nation on India’s Independence Day from the ramparts of the 17th-century Red Fort in New Delhi. India is working to develop a natural vaccine. Bharat Biotech International, an unlisted Indian vaccine manufacturer, got regulatory approval from India ‘s apex medical research body to launch human clinical trials for its experimental shot. Media sources say the vaccine is expected to be ready in September for clinical trials in stage 2. Both under trial, Zydus Cadila and Serum Institute of India have vaccines.
The government is struggling to curb the spread of virus, which develops at one of the world’s fastest paces and adds as many as 60,000 cases every day. Between the US and Brazil it has the most reported cases, with the highest death rate after the US, Brazil and Mexico. Mr Modi also reiterated his aim to make India a global manufacturing hub, noting that even during the coronavirus pandemic, foreign direct investment increased by 18 per cent and companies were still looking to invest in the country.
The event this year was truncated due to social distancing norms. According to the defense ministry that organizes the day’s activities, school children, usually present at the celebration, were not included and the guest list is much shorter than in previous years.