Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, during a video conference chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, said that the state government proposes to vaccinate 3 lakh people daily from its current average of 1,38,957 doses amidst the rise in COVID-19 cases. The Shiv Sena chief also requested for more vaccine doses, as the state has a stock of only 10 days left. So far, 35,52,000 vaccine doses have been given and 31,38,463 doses are remaining.
The central government was urged to allow more centres and hospitals with adequate capacity to conduct the vaccination drive. It was also asked to permit Haffkine Bio Pharmaceutical Corporation to produce the COVID-19 vaccine. The CM demanded that the vaccine technology be transferred under Mission COVID Suraksha to the company under the guidance of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The demand is important as Haffkine Bio Pharmaceutical Corporation is engaged in the development and production of a wide range of bacterial and viral vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, plague, poliomyelitis and rabies. It also formulates pharmaceutical products, disinfectants, ointments, injectables, syrups and mixtures.
Besides, the union health secretary termed the vaccination rate in Maharashtra -1,38,957 doses daily on an average- satisfactory as compared to some other major states. However, he added that the rate should be increased further. He also expressed satisfaction over the RT-PCR tests conducted in the state.
The Chief Minister’s Office, in a release, claimed that the prime minister has assured that the central government will support and encourage the institutes that plan to produce COVID-19 vaccines. Besides, it also expressed satisfaction over the present pace of conducting RT-PCR tests in the state. In Maharashtra, of the total tests conducted, 70 per cent are RT-PCR tests.
Meanwhile, Thackeray also urged Modi for the central government’s guidance to detect whether the detected strains are a mutation of COVID-19 or some other form of the virus. He admitted that there are challenges to trace contacts, especially in a city like Mumbai, but assured that it will be done rigorously across the state.