NEW DELHI: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said people should not get complacent and must follow self-discipline to check the spread of COVID-19.
He said the importance of a disciplined lifestyle with a balanced and healthy diet, along with regular physical activity, which has been underlined by the pandemic, will also help as preventive measures against many modern-day diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease etc.
Singh, who is also an eminent medical professional and diabetologist, said the medical fraternity is still in the process of learning more about COVID-19 and only long-term follow-up will answer all the questions.
"Meanwhile, even though antibodies might have developed after the episode of COVID, there is not enough evidence to claim that re-infection is totally ruled out," he said.
Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, called for celebrating the "Teeka Utsav" (vaccine festival) by facilitating inoculation among those who require it and who are entitled to receive the jab in the current phase of the vaccination drive.
He said while as responsible citizens, it is the obligation of everyone to act as a catalyst in the vaccination drive, at the same time, it is also their social responsibility to help their friends and acquaintances to overcome unwarranted apprehensions about COVID-19, according to a personnel ministry statement.
Singh said those who have recovered from the viral disease should take upon themselves the responsibility to spread awareness about it because the narration of their first-hand experience can be more effective in fighting the stigma and many myths.
Reiterating the four-point "mantra" spelt out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- each one-vaccinate one, each one-treat one, each one-save one and setting up micro-containment zones -- the minister said in the next four days, the vaccination drive has to be carried out at multiple levels, including personal level, social level and administrative level.
"Nevertheless, he hastened to add that even after the vaccination, self-discipline has to be maintained to observe COVID-appropriate behaviour," the statement said.
Based on several reports and research papers, Singh said even if one has gone through an episode of COVID and recovered from it, there is still the need to continue with the guard and follow the same guidelines without being complacent by the thought that one has developed antibodies and there is no need for precautions.
He said the importance of preventive and promotive behaviour, which has got reaffirmed in the social psyche following the COVID experience, will have a larger implication on individual well-being because it will also serve to protect from many a lifestyle disease.