Covid 19 virus got mutated 223 times : Mandaviya in Lok Sabha

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Mansukh Mandaviya

The Covid 19 virus got mutated 223 times in the world and its harmful effects have come down substantially over time, said Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya while speaking in Lok Sabha on Friday. He said that the Covid infection will continue to remain like influenza and its present variants are not deadly.

“When a virus gets mutated more than 100 times, its harmful effects get reduced. Covid also got mutated. So far, the Covid virus got mutated 223 times,” he said during the Question Hour and added that like other influenza, which hits people once or twice every year, “Covid is with us and it will remain”. “Covid sub-variants are not that deadly and there are no negative effects,” he said.

Responding to another question in the lower house, the health minister said that the doctor-population ratio in the country stands at 1:834 which is better than the World Health Organisation standard of 1:1000. “Assuming 80 per cent availability of registered allopathic doctors and 5.65 lakh AYUSH doctors, the doctor-population ratio in the country is 1:834 which is better than the WHO standard of 1:1000,” he said.

Also, there are 34.33 lakh registered nursing personnel and 13 lakh allied and healthcare professionals in the country. The government has increased the number of medical colleges and subsequently increased MBBS seats, the health minister said. As per the information provided by National Medical Commission (NMC), there are 13,08,009 allopathic doctors registered with the state medical councils and the National Medical Commission (NMC) as on June, 2022”, he said.

In response to other supplementaries related to AIIMS, the minister said that in the last six months, recruitment has taken place for around 29,000 positions and hiring is happening on a rotation basis, including those of SC/ST and OBC. Emphasising that the government is focusing on providing the best tertiary care to people in their own states, he told the Lok Sabha that hiring is continuing at various AIIMS.

The government wants all AIIMS to be fully functional and the priority is to ensure the best tertiary care in the states, he said during the Question Hour.