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Niti Aayog says India doesn’t face ‘severe’ Covid outbreak, over-prepared to deal with it

NEW DELHI:  A day before PM Narendra Modi unveils the next phase of lockdown, the Niti Aayog on Monday said there’s no undercurrent of ‘severe’ disease and that India was ‘over-prepared’ to deal with 1.50 lakh cases daily. Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant admitted that the country wasn’t prepared for the 21-day lockdown when it was announced.

“We saw that the supplies of the essential goods were disrupted. But now the entire supply chain across sectors will be taken care of. The finance ministry is working on measures to boost the medium and small enterprises and large industries to get the whole economic activities going,” said Kant, who heads the empowered group of experts on Covid-19.

Aayog Member V K Paul, who is also the head of the technical committee on prevention of Covid-19, said four vaccine candidates were available within the public sector and an equal number among private entities in international partnership. “Science will give the solution…No matter who discovers the vaccine, India will be its manufacturing hub,” said Paul while speaking at a virtual interaction. He claimed the Covid-19 outbreak in India was very limited in size.

Paul said India will have to focus on five-six sectors in manufacturing to take advantage of the opportunities created by Covid-19 disruptions. Calling the 21-day lockdown “the decision of the century”, he said the country has prepared well during the period to put in place the health infrastructure as he argued for calibrated opening of the economy in a phased manner.

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