New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With the country recording a decline in active coronavirus cases, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said that the Centre has not taken a decision regarding emergency authorisation of COVID-19 vaccine and dismissed the rumours about "prioritising vaccination for youth".

Speaking during the fifth episode of his weekly programme Sunday Samvaad, the Union Health Minister stressed that the Centre is waiting for adequate clinical data from phase 2 and 3 trials of COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the safety of coronavirus patients.

"Groups with occupational hazard and risk of exposure to infection shall be prioritised followed by those at risk of developing severe disease," Dr Harsh Vardhan was quoted as saying by News18.

'Ayurveda has holistic approach'

Days after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) questioned the Centre for launching the Ayush Standard Treatment Protocol for COVID-19 patients, Dr Harsh Vardhan backed the role of Ayurvedic remedies to prevent coronavirus and hailed them for boosting immunity.

"Ayurveda has a holistic approach towards disease management wherein salutogenesis is a major approach towards treatment of a disease condition and its prevention," Hindustan Times quoted Dr Harsh Vardhan as saying.

Health Minister urges people to follow COVID-19 norms ahead of festive season

The Union Health Minister on Sunday also urged people to follow all the COVID-19 protocols issued by the Centre during the festive season to break the chain of the deadly coronavirus, noting that failing them could once again "raise the threats to the society".

"If we falter in following COVID-19 guidelines during the festivals then corona can again assume a dangerous shape and become big trouble for us. This is the truth, in any religion, no dharmic leader will say that people's lives should be put at risk to celebrate festivals. No God has said that one needs to go to puja pandals to worship," he said.

"Anyone can remember their God with a pure heart from anywhere. I would want people to celebrate their festivals with their family. Earlier also this used to happen, people used to celebrate festivals in small groups. I do not think there is any need for going to pandals and melas," he added.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the COVID-19 count in the country is at 70,53,807, including 8,67,496 active cases. The number of cured and discharged or migrated patients has also crossed 60-lakhs and is at 60,77,977 in the country.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma