New Delhi: The Union Government has directed the states and union territories to increase administering the Covid-19 vaccination of people above the age 50. The health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan asked officials to step up the pace and also increase the number of days designated for inoculation to four days per week.
With the recent spike in coronavirus cases in some states, especially Maharashtra and Kerala, the government has asked states to refocus their efforts on increased RT-PCR testing and containment of clusters where cases are on the rise.
The government plans to inoculate the elderly population with comorbidities starting March 1, 2021 and advised the managerial cadre of public facilities from district hospitals, sub-divisional hospitals, community health centres, primary health care centres, health and wellness centres, health sub-centres to tertiary level medical colleges, hospitals and institutes to step up their efforts as the nation plans to begin inoculating the elderly population and people with comorbidities starting March 1.
“Further, the operational strategy for initiating the vaccination of the next priority group of elderly population and persons with comorbidities to be taken up in March 2021 is also being finalised,” Bhushan said in his letter. “You are requested to kindly direct the concerned officials to immediately undertake measures for expansion of COVID-19 vaccination drive. I look forward to your continued collaboration in this critical mission of national importance,” he added.
Government officials say that a large number of healthcare workers across the country need to be vaccinated to take forward the aim of a robust healthcare system and to resume the services in full.
According to the health minister, 11,085,173 vaccine doses have been administered through 230,888 sessions till Sunday. It has said that 6,391,544 healthcare workers have been administered the first dose of the vaccine, 960,642 given the second dose and 3,732,987 frontline workers have been vaccinated with the first dose.
Progressive countrywide expansion in testing infrastructure has played a crucial role in the steep rise of testing numbers. With 2393 testing labs in the country including 1,220 Government laboratories and 1,173 Private laboratories, the daily testing capacity has got a substantial boost.
India’s cumulative national Positivity Rate is presently pegged at 5.20%.