Dr. Harsh Vardhan addresses the Global Yoga Conference 2021

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare addressed the inaugural ceremony of Global Yoga Conference2021 in the presence of Shri Shripad Yesso Nayak, Minister of State for Defence. The event was organised by ‘MokshayatanYogSansthan’ along with the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India &Indian Council for Cultural Relations to mark the occasion of 7thInternational Day of Yoga which falls on 21st June 2021.

At the outset, the Union Health Minister emphasized that when the world speaks about holistic health and well-being for humankind,ourancientwisdomofYoga is invariably mentioned. “Increasing acceptance of the practice of Yoga across the world is an evidence of its wide popularity. Yoga’s uptake as a part of daily lifestyle is observed even in the western world. Even during the present times of pandemic, when physical and mental fitness have been stressed upon, many people have turned to Yoga for the same,” he stated.

Accentuating the importance of the central message for observing Yoga Day this year, (‘Be with Yoga, Be at Home’), he said, “In light of this global health emergency, congregational activities in the run up to International Yoga Day have been muted. This message is most relevant in times of COVID-19, when it is necessary for all of us to maintain all possible precautions while also looking out for our overall wellness. Considering the immense and well- documented rewards of Yoga for holistic health and well-being of the population, it is our government’s objective to take Yoga to every citizen.”

Reminding everyone the call made by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to the UN General Assembly in September 2014, Dr Harsh Vardhan observed, “It is well-known that the origin of International of International Yoga Day can be traced back to a call made by our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji to the UN General Assembly in September 2014, where he put forth the idea to mark June 21 each year as a day for celebrating and promoting Yoga and all its benefits.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted how Yoga has helped people during COVID restrictions on public activities and said, “It is indeed a matter of pride for every Indian that this precious inheritance of our country has found global acceptance. The benefits of Yoga in immunity building and management of stress are well documented with evidence. With programmes like this Global Yoga Conference, more people shall be drawn into the fold of practicing Yoga and related activities. Since the onset of the pandemic last year, many people have been working from home and the impact of being quarantined has been felt by many. With several restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, other popular methods of maintaining physical fitness, such as public places, parks, sports and gyms have shut down. A spike in stress levels has also been observed with increased time being spent in confined spaces along with added workload as people adapt to new realities. Yoga offers a solution for maintaining physical fitness as well as contributing towards one’s mental peace, even in the midst of such restrictions.”

Dr. Harsh Vardhan noted that there is a widespread realization today that health is of foremost importance for everyone. Countries around the globe have recognized the potential benefits that humankind can enjoy by embracing Yoga. He thanked participants from different fields and expertise who joined to promulgate the benefits of Yoga. He also extended his sincere gratitude to Swami Dr Bharat Bhushan and Mokshyatan Sansthan for organizing this conference and spreading awareness of healthy living among common people. Swami Dr Bharat Bhushan has over decades put in untiring efforts in promoting Yoga and Indian culture.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan concluded his speech by expressing his confidence that this conference will further spread awareness among people about the practice of Yoga and the benefits it can bring in their lives.



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Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates the revamped Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Library in Chandni Chowk, Delhi

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the newly revamped Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Libraryin Chandni Chowk, Delhi today. He dedicated the library that houses an enormous collection of rare books to the entire nation. The library has beenrenovated with a public investment of more than Rs 3 crores.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan also informed the audience that the country’s steadily declining active cases, a trend sustained for 28 days and less than 1 lakh cases for the 4th day today have allowed a sliver of opportunity to him to be with the people of his constituency physically.

The Union Health Minister expressed his admiration at the of the rare collections in the library such as the Persian Mahabharata, translated by Abul Fazl and composed in the court of Emperor Akbar, a copy of ‘the History of World’ from 1677 AD, handwritten Bhagavata Purana of 1810 AD, Bhrigu Samhita, an old copy of Quran in Hindi, the first book ever written in ‘Briji’, the native language of the Yamuna plains. Started in 1862, the library has archived copies of Delhi Gazette from 1917 till 1988 and has many rare gems in its collection including 350 manuscripts and 8000 old books which were in need of proper archiving and storage before the reconstruction. The Minister was apprised that several court cases including one involving the fate of a village on the eve of Partition was settled in court in favour of India sourcing evidence from the library.

Strongly advising adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour to everybody present on the occasion, he said that the decrease in cases should never inculcate a sense of complacency among the public. He noted, “this behavioral pattern of putting masks on and off intermittently, improper wearing of masks and not following the strict COVID Appropriate Behaviour contributed to the second wave of COVID. When many of our doctors, nurses became Corona Warriors in an act of self-sacrifice to protect us, with many of them eventually succumbing to COVID, it is our moral duty to do the maximum to support them. The laxity in COVID Appropriate Behviour hurts the Pavitra Smriti of the fallen.”

Speaking on digitization drive of the governmentin the context of digitalization of Library Archives, Dr. Harsh Vardhan remarked, “Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has relentlessly pursued the mission of a Digital India. In the entire lockdown, people could get government benefits directly transferred to their accounts; the JAM trinity has enabled the Direct Benefit Transfer of to the account of 10 crore farmers at the push of a button.Similarly, National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) currently being implemented in UTs will bring speed, transparency and accountability in our health system. Suchdigital interventions in other areas have vastly improved the lives of Indians.” He observed that these interventions have shattered the popular saying of 1980s that for 1 rupee allocated by the Union government, only 15 paisa actually reach the intended beneficiaries.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also assured those present that the Government would soon have enough vaccines at its disposal to fully vaccinate every adult 18+ years of age: “With increase in production capacity, we have more vaccine in June compared to May. As capacity improves, supply would ease and soon there will be enough vaccines to immunize every citizen.”

Sh. Vijay Goyal, Ex-Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha,Shri Shyam Jaju, Ex-National Vice President, BJP,Sh. Jai Prakash, Mayor, NorthDelhi Municipal Corporation, Smt. Anamika, Mayor, SouthDelhi Municipal Corporation, Sh. Nirmal Jain, Mayor, EastDelhi Municipal Corporation, Sh. Chhail Bihari Goswami, Chairman, Standing Committee, Sh. Yogesh Kumar Verma, Leader of House, Smt. Sunita Kaushik, Joint Secretary, HMHPL, Sh. Ravinder Kumar, Area Counsellor and were present at the event.

Smt. Rekha Sinha, Secretary, HMHPL officiated the event.



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Dr. Harsh Vardhan inspects Oxygen Plant and New COVID Wards under construction in Safdarjung Hospital

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare inspected the newly installed Oxygen Plant and the construction progress of new COVID Blocks at Safdarjung Hospital, today morning.

Expansion of high end medical facilities at the hospital had played crucial role in curbing the tide of the second wave of COVID cases. During this visit, the Union Health minister has reviewed the COVID preparedness of the hospital during the meeting held with doctors of Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi.

Dr Harsh Vardhan started his visit by reviewing the functioning of the Pressure Swing Adsorption(PSA) Oxygen Plant facility which has been established in a record time. This is 3rd plant to be installed at the Central Government hospital in New Delhi, after Dr RML Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College.The Plantof ~1 MT capacity has been built by DRDO with assistance from the PM-CARES fund. This will supplement the hospital’s efforts in providing Medical Oxygen to theCOVID affected patient. The Minister noted that the country has expeditiously arranged for Oxygen Plants for treatment of the severe cases of COVID that need hospitalisation. “Safdarjung Hospital will soon be equipped with another plant of 2 MT capacity, which further enhancing this capacity. Similarly, 1051 plants are in the process of being established with the help of DRDO, CSIR and HITEC all over the country.”

He also visited the under constructionnew COVID Block, being built with the help of CSIR-Central Building Research Institute (CSIR-CBRI), Roorkee and examined the progress work. He instructed the team to complete this block at earliest.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also advised people about COVID complications being seen across the country due to indiscriminate breach of treatment protocols. He observed, “People are taking heavy doses of steroids even when they have not turned hypoxic. Steroids are to be provided only when a patient is hypoxic, to be administered in small doses to prevent side effects and not more than a few days at a stretch. Recommendations of a doctor is must for the use of these medicines.” These steps should take care of occurrence of the higher number of Mucormycosis infections being reported country-wide, he hoped.

He also requested doctors to stick to ICMR guidelines while treating COVID Patients.

Speaking to the media there, Dr Harshvardhan spoke about the trend of declining COVID cases in recent days. He informed about the 3,89,851 recoveries in the last 24 hours; new cases in the last 24 hours have been at 2,67,334; while the recoveries outnumber the new cases by more than 1 lakhs. The daily recoveries have now outnumbered the new cases for the 6th consecutive day now which has contributed to the reduction of Active Caseload. He also pointed out about the active cases being 32,26,719 as of today.

Dr Harsh Vardhan appealed to the citizens for their contribution in bringing down the COVID cases: “Wearing of masks, following hand hygiene and social distancing between individuals; all COVID Appropriate Behaviour when followed in discipline will help check COVID.” He also asked people to be in their homes and venture out only when absolutely necessary.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed his heartfelt condolences for all the COVID victims. He eulogized the well-known faces of the Medical Community who have lost their lives to COVID in recent days and said, “Dr. K. K. Aggarwal, past President of IMA had contributed to popularization of Health Education among the masses. Dr. Sekhar Agarwal, Orthopedician treated thousands of patients, Dr. Pankaj Bhatnager also helped many cancer patients get better and we have lost them to COVID.”

The Union Health Minister also remembered the countless COVID warriors who have died in the line of duty. In this regard, he also remembered the sacrifice of the media community who have lost notable personalities like Shri Sunil Jain, Shri Sesh Narayan Singh and Shri Rohit Sardana.

The Minister was joined in his visit by Dr. S.V. Arya, Medical Superintendent, Dr. Sarvesh Tandon, Assistant Professor and other senior faculty/doctors of the Institute.



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Dr Harsh Vardhan reviews preparedness of AIIMS New Delhi in light of recent surge of COVID19 cases in the Capital

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today visited All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi to review their COVID-19 preparedness in light of recent surge of COVID cases in the Capital. He also interacted with the patients under care at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.


Dr Harsh Vardhan held a detail review meet on the availability of beds/oxygenated beds at the general/ICU wards with the heads of the various departments engaged in treating COVID and non-COVID medical conditions taking note of difficulties faced by them and their colleagues in carrying out their present duties.

Praising the contributions of the Corona Warriors at the outset, Dr. Harsh Vardhan observed that with fundamentals of the viral disease known, the task ahead would be comparatively easy: “I am happy to know that our warriors are not only aware but also concerned over the present situation. I am here to discuss the present situation and what can be the future scenario so that we can take pro-active, pre-emptive and graded response like last year. It’s not like we have not faced the problems in 2020. But, in 2021, we have more experience; more knowledge and understanding about the disease as compared to last year. Last year, you not only helped the patients here but fellow doctors across the country through teleconsultations.”

The Union health Minister highlighted the journey traversed by India in becoming self-sufficient in medical equipment. He said, “I remember our condition on 5th April 2020 when we didn’t have PPE Kits, Ventilators and N95 Masks. We were unfairly criticised all over the world for a perceived lack of health infrastructure. With significant ramping up of infrastructure and production capabilities, we have come a long way. We defeated the virus when we did not know much about it and can do it again with our one year of experience.”

On the importance of attending to non-COVID cases at the time of the pandemic, Dr. Harsh Vardhan observed “We have to also think about Non-COVID Diseases. We should not neglect and let their treatment get affected. We are now equipped with all measures; we need to just think about how to overcome the present unfortunate situation. We need to think about developing new models that can be implemented and replicated in other parts of the country. I want all of you to provide a good quality solutions. I will try my best to help you in implementing it. The country has high hopes from you.”



He thereafter visited the patient ward of the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC) of AIIMS, New Delhi (Dedicated COVID Hospital) and interacted with many patients under treatment. He assured them of the best possible care.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also interacted with the media afterwards and used the occasion to remind people of the many virtues of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB): “Our biggest fight this time is to teach COVID appropriate behaviour to the people. People have adopted a casual approach which is very dangerous. COVID Appropriate behaviour is the biggest social tool we have to break the chain.” In order to encourage the public from following CAB in the quest for a COVID free environment, he put out statistics that demonstrate the diligence of the general public along with the hard-work of healthcare and frontline workers: “India has 52 districts with no fresh cases in 7 days, 34 districts with no fresh cases in 14 days, 4 districts with no fresh cases in 21 days and 44 districts with no fresh cases in 28 days.” He also detailed steps taken by the Union government to stop black marketing of drugs like Remdesivir and Itolizumab.

Dr Randeep Guleria, Director AIIMS and other senior doctors accompanied the Union Minister during the comprehensive review visit. 



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Dr. Harsh Vardhan oversees addition of 500 Oxygenated Beds in Delhi

In a swift move that could provide a much-needed shot in the arm for Delhi in its war against COVID-19, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, today visited the Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre (SPCCC) at Chhatarpur, New Delhi and oversaw the restarting of the COVID Care Centre and addition of 500 oxygenated beds. The present facility would heavily ease the burden on Delhi’s existing health infrastructure to deal with the unprecendented surge of daily new COVID-19 cases.

Reiterating the collective resolve of the Union Government, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “As during last year, the Centre is working through a “Whole of Government” approach where we are pooling all resources to ramp up three categories of infrastructure for effective management of COVID19”. 

The Union Health Minister visited the COVID Care Centre to oversee its re-operationalisation through additionof 500 oxygen supported beds. He also reviewed the status of COVID-19 management at the Centre. He was informed that the capacity will be augmented to 1000 in another week and thereafter swiftly to accommodate 1500 and finally to 2000 beds. The ChhatarpurCentre is being adequately quipped with medical facilities which include ten Dedicated Basic Care Life Support Ambulances, X-Ray, Oxygen Cylinders, Bi PHASIC Defibrillator complete, Pulse Oxymeters, Suction Machines and BI PAP machine along with other medical equipment. At the healthcare facility, in-house psychological counselling and psychiatry services will be provided by trained counsellors. Telemedicine support will also be provided by Referral Hospital, ITBP. ITBP has already dispatched a team of 40 well qualified medical doctors who would be joined by a team of 120 expert paramedics. The Facility is expected to start by tomorrow.

The “Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre” has been developed at RadhaSoamiSatsang Beas (RSSB) in Chhatarpur, Delhi as part of coordinated efforts of the Centre through DRDOand ITBP to augment the COVID clinical treatment infrastructure in New Delhi. The Centre which got closed down has been restarted now that cases have been increasing in the Capital.

The Union Health Minister took a round of the facility and interacted with the DRDO personnel and the ITBP doctors and paramedics who will be manning the facility. Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed satisfaction at the level of preparedness of the COVID Centre. He commended their dedication and attention to details towards adequate preparedness at the COVID Care Centre. “This shall substantially segment the existing facilities for treatment of mild COVID patients and help reduce the pressure on the hospitals,” he stated while visiting the Centre. He added that the country is passing through a very serious second wave. The Union Government is supporting the States and UTs through all possible recourses, he said.

The Union Health Minister took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of taking the COVID vaccination on one’s turn, following the COVID Appropriate Behaviour, and to adopt the “Social Vaccine” – “Do GajkiDoori”. He reassured all countrymen that the Centre is providing all support to all States and UTs to ramp up their hospital and treatment infrastructure.

Shri Ramesh Bhiduri, Member of Parliament, senior officers of DRDO, and the local administration were present during the visit of the Union Health Minister.



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