Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the World Health Organization (WHO) has removed India from the list of of polio endemic countries. The announcement was made at the the Polio Summit 2012 held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi Saturday.
The summit had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also in attendance.
"WHO has taken India's name off the list of polio endemic countries in view of the remarkable progress that we have made during the past one year," Azad said.
The heath minister also disclosed that from 2 lakh polio cases a year, the country has recorded not a single polio case in the past one year.
"We have won the battle but the war is not yet over. Let us continue our efforts with the same vigor, so that India can be declared polio free in the year 2014," Azad said.
The health minister also said that the ministry has put in place an emergency preparedness and response plan which would be implemented in all states in the country.
"Under the emergency preparedness and response plan, there will be zero tolerance for any new polio case and such a case will be declared as a public health emergency. Rapid response teams have already been formed in all states to rapidly respond to any polio case in the country," Azad added.
While India has been taken off the list of polio endemic list by the WHO, three countries -- Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan -- still make the list.