Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday expressed confidence that the COVID-19 cases count will be under control by Diwali this year.

While addressing a webinar, the Union Health Minister said that by Diwali this year, the Covid scenario in the country would be well under control. Dr Harsh Vardhan made it specific that he was confident that the country’s coronavirus count will be “under control” by Diwali this year.

Dr Harsh Vardhan further said that the country was quite ahead in tackling the pandemic. He also pointed out that the virus has taught Indians a certain lesson. He stated that there has to be a new normal, and we need to be more diligent or cautious about our lifestyle.

Apart from controlling the Covid scenario, the Union Health Minister also stated that there is the possibility of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the year end. He said that India is not lagging behind in this regard, and the country has seven to eight vaccine candidates. He pointed out that three of the vaccine candidates are in clinical trial phases and rest in the pre- clinical trials.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said that going by the current trend, there is a possibility that a vaccine would be ready by year end.

The Minister said there was only one lab in February which has now increased to 1,583 nationwide, and out of this more than 1,000 are government labs.

The country is conducting about 1 million tests per day which is way ahead of the target, he said. He observed that compared to earlier there is no scarcity of PPE kits, ventilators, and N 95 masks now.

Around 10 lakh tests are being conducted daily across the country. India has been recording over 75,000 cases for the last four days. It took the country 214 days to cross 36 lakh cases.

An additional 971 new deaths brought the overall death count to 64,469, pushing the country past Mexico for the third-highest number of deaths worldwide.