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Covid-19: One lakh cases in a day, what is the Govt’s plan to combat surge?

Centre rushes 50 High Level Public Health teams to Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab for control and containment measures

Sabrangindia 06 Apr 2021

PTI
Image courtesy: PTI


India is back on the Global Covid-19 tracker, and has reported over 1,03,558 new cases in a single day on Monday. Around 446 deaths have been reported in the same time period, taking the toll to 1,65,547. While the Health Ministry has stayed focused on sharing the “large” number of vaccinations carried out, with daily updates of numbers now reaching  8,31,10,926, it is clearly still not enough. There are over 7,88,223 active cases so far, a surge of 46,393 in the past 24 hours across the country.

 

Addressing this issue, the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan have now asked the Union Government to relax the minimum age bar for access to the Covid-19 vaccine to help combat the spread. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday appealed to the Centre to lower or remove the age bar for the Covid-19 vaccination. These three states along with Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc. have been reporting a massive second surge in Covid-19 cases from the past few months, as illustrated by the ministry.

“Eight states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have shown a steep rise in the Covid daily new cases. 81.90% of the new cases are reported from these 8 states,” the health ministry said. The daily change may be accessed here: https://www.mohfw.gov.in

This is probably for the first time that such a proactive step has been taken by any chief minister in India. The CMs have addressed their concerns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to a report in India Today, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray requested PM Modi to allow people above 25 years of age to receive Covid-19 shots. He said this will protect young people from the rapid spread of coronavirus at a time when they are stepping outside their homes to earn a livelihood. According to Thackeray protecting the youth should be a priority, especially those who work outside their homes.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has said the age restriction should be lifted and that the Prime Minister and the Central government must allow the vaccination to reach all and it “should be allowed in private medical institutions along with government institutions". Arvind Kejriwal wrote that, "Except for those who cannot get vaccinated due to medical reasons, we should start vaccinating everyone. This will remove the hesitation among people and increase the number of those getting vaccinated." Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain told the media that the National Capital “is witnessing a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic and to tackle it testing capacity has been ramped up while micro-containment zones are being created where two or more cases are reported.”

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has also asked that the state get more vaccine doses. According to media reports, Thackeray has asked that Maharashtra be provided 1.5 crore additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The Rajasthan government has reportedly said that 7 lakh vaccines are needed every day to make sure that around 2 crore people above the age of 45 are vaccinated in the state. According to IT, Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma also added that the state wants “the Central government to remove the age bar with regard to coronavirus vaccination so that mass immunity is achieved."

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Centre has constituted 50 high level multidisciplinary public health teams and deployed them to 50 districts across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab in view of the recent surge in daily new Covid-19 and daily mortality reported by these States. The teams are being rushed to 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh and 9 districts of Punjab to assist the State Health Department and local authorities in Covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures, said the government. Each team of two has a clinician/epidemiologist and a public health expert. They will monitor the overall implementation of Covid-19 management, especially testing, surveillance and containment operations. They will also study “availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances, ventilators, medical oxygen etc.,” and the vaccination status.

The Centre has appointed Vijoy Kumar Singh, AS&FA, Ministry of Textile as the nodal officer for Punjab; Richa Sharma, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change the nodal officer for Chhattisgarh, and Kunak Kumar, Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs as the nodal officer for Maharashtra. The teams will report to and coordinate with these nodal officers. 

Meanwhile, the Centre has written to Delhi Government on “Irregularities in Identification of Covid Vaccination beneficiaries below the age of 45 years”. According to information shared by PIB, “The Union Health Ministry has written to Principal Secretary (Health), GNCTD to draw attention to irregularities in the identification of Covid Vaccination beneficiaries, below the age of 45 years of age, by some Private Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs)."

The Centre has said that “there have been serious lapses in registration of beneficiaries by the VIMHANS (Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health, Neuro & Allied Sciences) located at Nehru Nagar area in the North East District of Delhi, operating as a Private COVID Vaccination Centre. VIMHANS has been found to register beneficiaries below the age of 45 years as Health Care Workers (HCWs) & Front Line Workers (FLWs), and vaccinate them.” From April 1, 2021 all citizens above 45 years of age are being vaccinated along with Health Care Workers (HCWs) & Front Line Workers (FLWs) above 18 years of age.

However the centre has said that “vaccines are a precious commodity,” and there have been “serious lapses at the VIMHANS CVC in terms of compliance of Covid-19 vaccination guidelines harm the countrywide vaccination exercise as eligible beneficiaries may get deprived from vaccination. The Delhi administration has been asked to immediately issue a show cause notice to VIMHANS.” In another case, the Delhi Government, in pursuance of the advice from the Union Health Ministry, has issued a show-cause notice to Bensups Hospital, Sector-12 Dwarka, Delhi for violation of the guidelines issued by the Centre on the eligible groups of population for receiving Covid vaccination, where persons below the age of 45 years have been wrongly registered as HCWs and FLWs, stated PIB.

 

Related:

Surge in Covid-19 cases has gone “from bad to worse”: Dr. VK Paul 

Covid-19: India records 68,020 new cases registered in the last 24 hours 

Covid-19: Huge spike recorded as 59,118 new cases reported in the last 24 hours

Covid-19: One lakh cases in a day, what is the Govt’s plan to combat surge?

Centre rushes 50 High Level Public Health teams to Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab for control and containment measures

PTI
Image courtesy: PTI


India is back on the Global Covid-19 tracker, and has reported over 1,03,558 new cases in a single day on Monday. Around 446 deaths have been reported in the same time period, taking the toll to 1,65,547. While the Health Ministry has stayed focused on sharing the “large” number of vaccinations carried out, with daily updates of numbers now reaching  8,31,10,926, it is clearly still not enough. There are over 7,88,223 active cases so far, a surge of 46,393 in the past 24 hours across the country.

 

Addressing this issue, the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan have now asked the Union Government to relax the minimum age bar for access to the Covid-19 vaccine to help combat the spread. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday appealed to the Centre to lower or remove the age bar for the Covid-19 vaccination. These three states along with Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc. have been reporting a massive second surge in Covid-19 cases from the past few months, as illustrated by the ministry.

“Eight states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have shown a steep rise in the Covid daily new cases. 81.90% of the new cases are reported from these 8 states,” the health ministry said. The daily change may be accessed here: https://www.mohfw.gov.in

This is probably for the first time that such a proactive step has been taken by any chief minister in India. The CMs have addressed their concerns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to a report in India Today, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray requested PM Modi to allow people above 25 years of age to receive Covid-19 shots. He said this will protect young people from the rapid spread of coronavirus at a time when they are stepping outside their homes to earn a livelihood. According to Thackeray protecting the youth should be a priority, especially those who work outside their homes.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has said the age restriction should be lifted and that the Prime Minister and the Central government must allow the vaccination to reach all and it “should be allowed in private medical institutions along with government institutions". Arvind Kejriwal wrote that, "Except for those who cannot get vaccinated due to medical reasons, we should start vaccinating everyone. This will remove the hesitation among people and increase the number of those getting vaccinated." Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain told the media that the National Capital “is witnessing a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic and to tackle it testing capacity has been ramped up while micro-containment zones are being created where two or more cases are reported.”

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has also asked that the state get more vaccine doses. According to media reports, Thackeray has asked that Maharashtra be provided 1.5 crore additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The Rajasthan government has reportedly said that 7 lakh vaccines are needed every day to make sure that around 2 crore people above the age of 45 are vaccinated in the state. According to IT, Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma also added that the state wants “the Central government to remove the age bar with regard to coronavirus vaccination so that mass immunity is achieved."

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Centre has constituted 50 high level multidisciplinary public health teams and deployed them to 50 districts across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab in view of the recent surge in daily new Covid-19 and daily mortality reported by these States. The teams are being rushed to 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh and 9 districts of Punjab to assist the State Health Department and local authorities in Covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures, said the government. Each team of two has a clinician/epidemiologist and a public health expert. They will monitor the overall implementation of Covid-19 management, especially testing, surveillance and containment operations. They will also study “availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances, ventilators, medical oxygen etc.,” and the vaccination status.

The Centre has appointed Vijoy Kumar Singh, AS&FA, Ministry of Textile as the nodal officer for Punjab; Richa Sharma, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change the nodal officer for Chhattisgarh, and Kunak Kumar, Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs as the nodal officer for Maharashtra. The teams will report to and coordinate with these nodal officers. 

Meanwhile, the Centre has written to Delhi Government on “Irregularities in Identification of Covid Vaccination beneficiaries below the age of 45 years”. According to information shared by PIB, “The Union Health Ministry has written to Principal Secretary (Health), GNCTD to draw attention to irregularities in the identification of Covid Vaccination beneficiaries, below the age of 45 years of age, by some Private Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs)."

The Centre has said that “there have been serious lapses in registration of beneficiaries by the VIMHANS (Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health, Neuro & Allied Sciences) located at Nehru Nagar area in the North East District of Delhi, operating as a Private COVID Vaccination Centre. VIMHANS has been found to register beneficiaries below the age of 45 years as Health Care Workers (HCWs) & Front Line Workers (FLWs), and vaccinate them.” From April 1, 2021 all citizens above 45 years of age are being vaccinated along with Health Care Workers (HCWs) & Front Line Workers (FLWs) above 18 years of age.

However the centre has said that “vaccines are a precious commodity,” and there have been “serious lapses at the VIMHANS CVC in terms of compliance of Covid-19 vaccination guidelines harm the countrywide vaccination exercise as eligible beneficiaries may get deprived from vaccination. The Delhi administration has been asked to immediately issue a show cause notice to VIMHANS.” In another case, the Delhi Government, in pursuance of the advice from the Union Health Ministry, has issued a show-cause notice to Bensups Hospital, Sector-12 Dwarka, Delhi for violation of the guidelines issued by the Centre on the eligible groups of population for receiving Covid vaccination, where persons below the age of 45 years have been wrongly registered as HCWs and FLWs, stated PIB.

 

Related:

Surge in Covid-19 cases has gone “from bad to worse”: Dr. VK Paul 

Covid-19: India records 68,020 new cases registered in the last 24 hours 

Covid-19: Huge spike recorded as 59,118 new cases reported in the last 24 hours

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