World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appreciated India’s collaboration in systematic engagement of polio surveillance network across the country to fight against coronavirus.
In a series of tweets, Mr Ghebreyesus said: “Great news: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and World Health Organisation-South-East Asia initiated a systematic engagement of the WHO’s national polio surveillance network, and other field staff, for India’s COVID-19 response, tapping into the best practices and resources that helped India win its war against polio.”
The WHO chief thanked India’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan for his leadership and engagement with the UN body to fight the global crisis.
“My thanks to Minister Harsh Vardhan for his leadership and collaboration with WHO. Through these joint efforts, we can defeat the coronavirus and save lives. Together!” he tweeted.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the WHO have initiated a systematic engagement of WHO national polio surveillance network and other field staff, for COVID-19 response, WHO said in a statement.
“Time and again, the Government of India and WHO together have shown our ability, competence and prowess to the whole world. With our combined meticulous work, done with full sincerity and dedication, we were able to get rid of polio,” said Harsh Vardhan in the statement.
“Today, I would like to remind you of your potential and ability and the big things we can do together. All of you in the field – IDSP, state rapid response teams and WHO – are our ”surveillance corona warriors”. With your joint efforts we can defeat the coronavirus and save lives,” he added.
The minister, along with Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, was addressing WHO and other field staff, simultaneously connected from over 1 000 sites all over the country – from capital cities to the remotest corners.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed 414 in India, with 37 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, government data shows. The number of people infected by the novel coronavirus in India has risen to 12,380 today.