India will complete administering 51.6 crore vaccine doses by July-end
New Delhi/IBNS: India will complete administering 51.6 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of July, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.
Till now, 18 crore doses have been administered to eligible beneficiaries, and vaccine production is being ramped up to meet the surge in demand, he added.
Harsh Vardhan chaired a meeting with the health ministers and principal secretaries/additional chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh where he highlighted the challenges posed by Covid-19 to states.
"Production of vaccines is being steadily ramped up to cater to increased demand while vaccines that are being produced now continue to be equitably apportioned and swiftly sent to States/Union Territories.
"We will have 51.6 crore vaccine doses by the end of July including the 18 crore doses already administered. Sputnik has been approved. This along with the slated approval of the new vaccine of Zydus Cadila, Serum Institute of India- Novavax vaccine, Bharat Biotech's nasal vaccine and the Genova mRNA vaccine will push the availability of COVID vaccines to 216 crore doses in the August-December period,” he said, reported Hindustan Times.
He noted that Gujarat has shown a gradual increase in Covid positivity rate since April while the recoveries stand at 79 per cent, which is less than the national average.
The ICU beds in Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Vadodara stood occupied nearly 100 per cent and oxygen beds in Ahmedabad and Vadodara, were filled up to 97 per cent and 96 per cent respectively, indicating saturation, he further noted.
Andhra Pradesh has been recording more cases since early April and the weekly growth rate shot up as high as 30.3 per cent, he said, while pointing out that East Godavari, Chittoor, Guntur, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam were flagged as districts of concern in the state.
Covid cases in Uttar Pradesh jumped exponentially in a span of six weeks (5,500 to 31,000 cases and two per cent to 14 per cent positivity rate) with Lucknow and Meerut accounting for over 14,000 active cases with all bed categories, showing occupancy of more than 90 per cent.
In Madhya Pradesh, 10 districts have shown 20 per cent positivity and there are one lakh active cases in the state. Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Jabalpur were flagged as districts of concern, the minister said.
Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, having a high proportion of deaths in the age group of 18 to 45, were cautioned.
Vardhan also said that the current flattening of the Covid curve does not allow complacency but as a breather to use it to expand, revamp and improve health infrastructure.
State health administrators were asked to increase the number of oxygen beds, conduct oxygen audits, monitor stock of medicines and strengthen medical workforce.
Infrastructure in small towns require continuous improvement and capability to support the patients from nearby towns and villages as they are likely to rush there in case of surge.
States were also asked to keep a tab on the variants of Covid through the INSACOG consortium.