With the country slowly returning to a pre-pandemic routine, and the Centre directing states to ensure minimum impact of the lingering pandemic on livelihoods, the challenge before administrators is to safeguard both the economy and the health of the nation.
Leading India in the fight against the pandemic has been Union health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya who took charge at a critical time when ramping up Covid vaccination was a big challenge. Almost a year later, under his leadership, the Union health ministry and key stakeholders at the state level have played a pivotal role in achieving a record two billion cumulative vaccinations.
Mandaviya is the chief guest at Express Adda on Thursday. Mandaviya joined the Modi Cabinet in 2016 and was made minister of state (MoS) for road transport & highways, shipping, and chemical & fertilisers. As MoS for chemicals and fertilisers during the severe second wave last summer, he played a key role in ramping up the supply of oxygen and critical drugs — an effort that made him Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice for health minister.
Today, as the pandemic enters its third year, the team under Mandaviya has been entrusted with further strengthening health systems at the primary, secondary and tertiary level to respond effectively to any possible future wave of Covid infections.
Besides Covid management and containment, the focus of his ministry is also to roll out the government’s flagship Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, especially an electronic health record for more than 1.3 billion people of the country. The flagship digital initiative is being designed to make health services easy and accessible in the country. It involves the creation of not just a unique health ID for every citizen but also connected digital health solutions in hospitals across the country.
At the Express Adda, Mandaviya will be in conversation with Anant Goenka, executive director, The Indian Express, and Kaunain Sheriff M, special correspondent, The Indian Express.
The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change.
Union minister for external affairs S Jaishankar, Union minister for road transport and highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari, election strategist Prashant Kishor and Union minister of housing and urban affairs and petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri were among the guests at Adda.