Advising people to follow the coronavirus protocols, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said that India is still far from achieving ‘herd immunity’ against the COVID-19 disease, according to the second sero-survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

The Health Minister, during an interaction with his social media followers, added, “ICMR is actively investigating and researching reports of COVID-19 reinfection and although the number of reinfection cases is negligible at this moment the government is fully aware of the importance of the matter. He cautioned that the sero-survey report should not create a sense of complacency among the people.

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The first sero-survey conducted in May 2020 had revealed that the nationwide prevalence of novel coronavirus infection was only 0.73%.

“Even the soon to be released second sero-survey indications are that we are far from having achieved any kind of herd immunity which necessitates that all of us should continue following COVID appropriate behaviour,” Vardhan said in response to the queries posed by his social media followers on ‘Sunday Samvad’ platform.

The health minister also dispelled fears regarding the phased opening of schools, and advised on proper protocol to be followed while visiting salons and hair spas, the ministry said. He re-emphasised the need for wearing masks even in places of worship.

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He further said that for the treatment of COVID-19, “Remdesivir and plasma therapies are not encouraged. He added that the government has issued regular advisories regarding the rational usage of Remdesivir and plasma therapy.

“Private hospitals have also been advised against routine use of these investigational therapies,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

India’s COVID-19 tally is nearly six million, as on Sunday the case count stood at 5,992,533. A total of 94,503 people have died due to the virus so far. India, however, has one of the lowest death rates among countries worst-affected by the infection.