Coronavirus

India to have a Covid-19 vaccine by early 2021, says health minister

Harsh Vardhan assured the government is not just working round-the-clock to find an effective solution to the Covid-19 pandemic which might be realized by the start of next year.

India to have a Covid-19 vaccine by early 2021, says health minister
ANUSHREE FADNAVIS REUTERS

Indian Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan assured the Central government is not just waiting for an "act of God" in its battle against Covid-19 and pointed out officials are tirelessly working on developing an effective vaccine that might be available at the beginning of 2021.

The minister's statement came as a response to a Parliament member who claimed that the government is waiting for the act of God in the fight against the disease, as infections are sharply soaring daily with the caseload almost at 5.5 million.

 Vardhan was a part of a late-night discussion of the passage of the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks amendment to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and will replace the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated by the President on 22 April.

The minister also spoke of the importance of protecting health workers whom he called "coronavirus warriors", their homes, and workplaces after several incidents of aggression against healthcare personnel took place while they were in the line of duty treating Covid-19 patients.

In addition, Vardhan revealed that since the parliament hasn't been in session over the past few months, the government issued an ordinance to protect healthcare workers from such aggressive attacks "If any person attacks a corona warrior he will be penalized as per the legal provisions. A special officer will investigate the case and submit a report within a month," the Minister said.