Parliamentary panel meet on Covid, discusses 3rd wave status, preparation, vaccine efficacy

Parliamentary standing committee on Home Affairs, headed by Congress MP Anand Sharma on Monday took stock of India’s preparedness to deal with a possible COVID-19 third wave, efficacy of available vaccines against new virus variants and concerns over the threats future Covid waves could pose to children.

Union Home Secretary, Health Secretary and other top officials also attended the meeting and gave a detailed presentation before the committee members.

Committee members raised important questions to the health secretary about the status of a possible third COVID wave and preparations to tackle it.

“Senior health ministry officials ensured the committee that the health department is ready and prepared for the new wave if any. And, the vaccination drive in the country is going on full swing,” a source told ANI.

A committee member asked Health Ministry officials about the efficacy of the available COVID-19 vaccines. The Committee further enquired if Indian vaccines can deal with the new variants of coronavirus. The threat of the new variant for children was also discussed, according to sources.

Further, the Committee expressed its concern over a next Covid-19 wave and how much danger it poses for children. The majority of the panel’s members agreed about the need to prevent rumours about a possible third wave.

At the meeting, a member raised the issue of the case of fake vaccination drive in West Bengal and inquired from the Home Ministry officials whether proper monitoring was being done.

The committee discussed the job losses of migrant labourers and the economic loss due to the COVID pandemic. Further, a committee member advocated for giving financial help to the labourers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. In this regard, the Committee asked if it is possible to prepare data on it.

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