Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has placed an order of 1 crore vaccines -- 50 lakh each -- from the makers of Covashield and Covaxin in addition to vaccines to be supplied by the Centre for the success of the third phase of vaccination drive, beginning May 1.
The state government has also set-up a committee under the state Finance Minister and Medical Education Minister Suresh Khanna to make a concrete plan for the success of the crucial third phase of vaccination drive. The government has already announced vaccination free for people above 18 years of age.
The Chief Minister has directed the state health department to ensure minimum wastage of life-saving vaccines. Uttar Pradesh had recorded the highest 5 to 6 percent wastage of vaccines in the country during the first and second vaccination drive.
To avoid heavy rush, prior registration on Cowin portal has been made mandatory for people in the 18-45 years of age group. No registration will be allowed at the vaccination centres. However, the registration facility at the centre will continue to be available for the above 45 years category.
State health department officials claimed that the third phase of vaccination drive will be the most crucial in breaking the chain of second wave of coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh. Currently, the vaccination drive is running at snail’s pace in the state and yet to touch the 10 million mark.
“It is a mammoth task considering the huge population of the state. We will be requiring a large contingent of trained vaccination staff to man centres, robust cold chains to maintain supplies, over 100 million vaccines, syringes etc to make the drive successful,” said a senior health department official.
Since the third vaccination drive above 18 years has been made free of cost, a heavy rush at vaccination centres is expected from May 1. People have now realized that vaccines are the only way to get a shield from the deadly second strain of virus.
Since the Yogi Adityanath government has ruled out complete lockdown, inoculation is the only way to break the chain and save people’s lives. To achieve Herd Immunity, at least 30 per cent of the total population of 24 crore needs to be vaccinated at the earliest.
“But to ward off the third wave of coronavirus, which will be much more dangerous than the current one, we need to achieve at least 70 percent of vaccination in next six months, a task near impossible,” pointed out the official.
Active Covid cases, fatality go down
Although it is too early to attribute it to the weekend lockdown, UP heaved a sigh of relief on Sunday when number coronavirus active cases and fatalities came down for the first time in the last ten days.
On Sunday 35,614 active cases and 208 deaths were recorded across state against Saturday’s figure of 38,055 positive cases and 223 fatalities. With 208 more deaths, the fatality count crossed 11K mark to 11165.
“There was a significant drop of about 2500 in active cases and less fatality was reported on Sunday. Another positive sign is that the number of patients discharged continued to rise to 25,633 on Sunday against 23,331 on Saturday,” claimed ACS Health Amit Mohan Prasad. He stressed that prevention and vaccination were the only ways to break the chain of second wave of coronavirus.
“If people don’t go out unnecessarily, wear masks at public places and maintain social distancing, the number of active cases will go down further in days to come,” he said.
To arrest the active cases further, the state government has cancelled leaves of 16 employees engaged in 108 Ambulance Service to reduce the response time and to rush covid-19 positive patients to hospitals without any delay. Ambulances equipped with oxygen and life-saving equipments act as hospitals in case of any delay in admission of critical patients.
On the other hand, more private hospitals have been roped in to increase the number of covid beds following pressure on government hospitals. The state now has adequate stock of oxygen and life-saving Remdevisir injections.
The state government has also ordered 5,000 Jumbo type oxygen cylinders to increase its buffer stock and decided to set up 39 oxygen plants in government hospitals across state.
The covid bed availability will be eased out further when makeshift hospitals, being set up by the DRDO in Lucknow and Varanasi, become operational by month end.