New Delhi: The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday said that the number of doses administered in India will reach 51.6 crores by the end of July. This includes the 18 crores doses already administered so far.
Also, With the slated approval of the new vaccine of Zydus Cadila, Serum Institute of India’s Novavax vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine, and the Genova mRNA vaccine, India will have the availability of 216 crores doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the August-September period, he said.
Taking note of the fact that all States require more vaccines to expand their vaccine coverage, Harsh Vardhan during a review meeting with the health ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh said that production is being steadily ramped up to cater to increased demand. While for the vaccines that being produced now will continue to be equally distributed and sent to all the States/ UTs.
During the interaction with the state health ministers and additional chief secretaries of the four states, Vardhan highlighted the challenges faced by the states as of now. The meeting was also attended by Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.
Mr. Vardhan said that Gujarat has shown a gradual increase in the positive cases since April; the recovery rate being 79% which is lower than the national average; nearly 100 percent ICU beds in Ahmedabad, Mehsana, and Vadodara, and 97 percent and 96 percent of oxygen beds in Ahmedabad and Vadodara respectively stood occupied indicating saturation.
Andhra Pradesh’s positivity rate has had an increase since early April of this year; the weekly growth stood high at 30.3 percent; Chittoor, East Godavari, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, and Guntur flagged as districts of concern in the state.
Talking of Uttar Pradesh, he said that the state saw exponential growth in cases in a six-week period (5,500- 31,000 with positivity rate increasing from 2 percent to 14 percent); Lucknow and Meerut alone have more than 14,000 active cases with more than 90 percent occupancy showing in all categories of bed.
In Madhya Pradesh, 10 districts have a positivity rate of more than 20 percent with over 1 lakh active cases spread all over the state; Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, and Bhopal flagged as districts of concerns in the state.
Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat cautioned for having a high proportion of deaths in the age group of 18-45, said in the meeting.
States were advised by the Central government to ensure complete utilization of available vaccination slots for the 45+ age group along with healthcare workers, frontline workers with awareness programs/ campaigns for conveying the importance of completing the second dose of the Covid vaccine.
It was repeated that States need to focus on reduction of vaccine wastage as that will be factored in subsequent allocations to that State.
It was also advised to the States to constitute a team of 2/3-members team at the State level on the lines of the dedicated team at Union Health Minister. Their role is to regularly coordinate with vaccine manufacturers for timely supplies of vaccine through the ‘Other than the government of India channel’. Along with that they also need to coordinate with private hospitals for their procurement. The list of Private hospitals along with doses contracted and supplied with State/UTs has already been shared by the Union Health Ministry.
Apart from this, the State Health administrators were advised to increase ICU and beds with oxygen availability, undertake oxygen audits, take stock of ease of access of medicines in the State and strengthen their medical workforce
Dr. Sujeet K. Singh, Director at the national center for disease control (NCDC) presented the epidemiological findings and granular analysis of the trajectory of Covid-19 in the states.
He further suggested that the focus should be continued on the health infrastructure in small cities due to the rush of people from nearby towns and villages in case of a surge.