Visakhapatnam: It's time to invest in pandemic preparedness and prevention says Randeep Guleria
- AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria says India has the third highest number of documented Covid-19 deaths in the world
- Mentions vaccine hesitancy is a major obstacle in achieving vaccination coverage to build herd immunity
Visakhapatnam: Increasing urbanisation, loss of animal habitats particularly cohabitation with humans, are some of the key factors for the rise of pandemics in the 21st century, observed Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Randeep Guleria.
Participating as chief guest in GITAM's 41st Foundation Day celebrations at GITAM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, Dr Guleria mentioned that India has the third highest number of documented Covid-19 deaths in the world and affected livelihood, health, governance system, social fabric and the economy.
While delivering an endowment lecture, he pointed out that Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet and it is not going to be the last pandemic either. "We must prepare to face future pandemics and it is time to invest in pandemic prevention and preparedness," he added.
As eminent medical person in pulmonary medicine Dr Guleria advised that vaccination and Covid appropriate behaviour continue to be the most effective public health measures to halt the spread of the pandemic.
He pointed out that vaccine hesitancy presents a major obstacle to achieving vaccination coverage to build herd immunity. He briefed that the vaccines induce immune responses of the host against a pathogen without exposing them to the disease and there were over 60 candidate vaccines in human trial, and over 180 in preclinical trial stages.
While explaining the role of AIIMS during Covid-19 pandemic, he informed that 100 out of 178 proposals received on Covid related intramural research were funded by the AIIMS research committee.
GITAM president M Sribharath informed that GITAM hospital treated 4,000 patients during Covid-19 pandemic. He mentioned that Indian medical education must transform in order to face uncertain challenges in future.
Later, he presented the institution's 41st Foundation Award to Randeep Guleria with a memento and Rs10 lakh cash prize. GITAM vice-chancellor K Sivaramakrishna, vice-president M Gangadhara Rao, secretary M Bharadwaj, GIMSR Pro vice-chancellor CV Rao, among others participated in the programme.
In the end, appreciation certificates and cash prizes were distributed to Covid19 warriors.