New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday expressed concerns over the alarming spike in coronavirus cases across the country and blamed the "laxity shown by people" behind the rise in cases. While addressing an event, Vardhan said that the situation in India may turn "dangerous" if people do not follow COVID appropriate behaviour.

"With vaccines available now, people feel they should not wear masks. Maximum people hang their masks around their neck, some keep it in their pocket and some do not use it at all," Vardhan was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

"I want to appeal to people of the country that they should not let the COVID appropriate behaviour get weakened at any cost. Maintaining social distancing, wearing masks properly and washing hands with soap probably are the biggest tools to win the fight against COVID-19," he added.

Vardhan also noted that the two COVID vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- approved in India are the second tool to fight against the infection. Urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible, Vardhan also that the two vaccines developed in the country are completely safe and effective while asserting that saving lives is a priority for the government.

He also asserted that the Union Health Ministry will expand the criteria of the vaccination drive as and when required. "You know that the behaviour of COVID virus is dynamic and the vaccination process is also dynamic. Under this dynamic process, the criteria will be expanded as and when the time requires," PTI quoted Vardhan as saying.

"The year 2020 may go down in history as the 'Year of COVID', but it will also be remembered as the 'Year of Scientific Community'. The way our medical professionals and scientific community rose to the occasion, and even after one year still fighting without any trace of fatigue, thereby successfully managing the pandemic in a country of 1.3 billion, is a testimony that we have the DNA, sincerity, commitment and passion to accomplish the vision of good quality health for everyone," he added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma