Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Over 16.3mn vaccines available with states, UTS, says Centre
Ministry says govt has provided 246,080,900 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to states and union territories
Around 16.3 million Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTS to be administered, the health ministry said on Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), the Centre has provided 246,080,900 doses of Covid vaccines to states/uts, both through the free of cost category and through the direct state procurement category.
“Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 229,695,199 doses. More than 16.3 million Covid vaccine doses (1,63,85,701) are still available with the states/uts to be administered,” reads the statement issued by the MOHFW.
The implementation of the “Liberalized and Accelerated Phase-iii Strategy of Covid-19 Vaccination” has started on May 1, 2021.
Under the strategy, every month 50 per cent of the total Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccine doses of any manufacturer would be procured by the central government.
On Saturday, the Union health ministry said that private hospitals across the country received 12 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19 in May, clarifying that this included hospitals in tier II and tier III cities, in a response to a news report that said 50% of the total doses allocated to the private sector went to nine private hospital chains.
“A large number of private hospitals that have contract with Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have been supplied with Covishield and Covaxin doses. These private hospitals are not limited to the bigger metros, but also from Tier II & III cities across states,” the release from the health ministry said, rejecting charges of vaccine inequity in India’s inoculation drive.
The states with fewer private hospitals have been asked to list out the ones that have been performing better under the government’s Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme and other state insurance schemes keeping geographical spread in mind.
The government is encouraging these hospitals to get into contract with the vaccine manufacturers.
“This mechanism facilitates better access and reduces the operational stress on Government Vaccination facilities..,” the release said.
The government has reserved 25% of the vaccine doses manufactured for the private hospitals under the new liberalised vaccination policy adopted May 1 onwards.
Meanwhile, the second wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic is slowly subsiding in the country. According to Union health ministry data on Sunday morning, India’s tally of active Covid-19 cases has fallen below 1.5 million.
The active cases fell by 77,449 in the last 24 hours and stand at 1,477,799, the health ministry’s 8am update showed.
This is the lowest number of cases reported in the last two months. On April 596,982 cases were reported. The following day, 115,736 new cases were reported.
A total of 28,809,339 positive cases have been reported so far, including 26,984,781 recoveries, and 1,477,799 active cases.
The national recovery rate has increased to 93.67 per cent. The weekly Covid-19 positivity rate, meanwhile, stands at 6.54 per cent.
As many as 23,13,22,417 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered so far.
From a peak of over 3.7 million on May 8, the number of active cases on Sunday shows a huge fall.
The active caseload is now 5.3 per cent of the total infections, an analysis of health ministry data shows.
As the second wave led to a mammoth surge in Covid-19 infection, the number of active cases of Covid-19 had crossed the million mark in April. The number kept increasing as the second wave wreaked havoc across the country, making India the world’s largest Covid-19 hot spot nation.
The situation worsened in weeks after that and India broke record after record of highest single-day tally of Covid-19 cases. But after mid-may, the situation improved and the number of cases started coming down.
The health ministry, meanwhile, stressed that more than 70 per cent of the Covid-19 related deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
India’s Covid-19 tally had crossed the 2 million mark on August 7; 3 million on August 23; 4 million on September 5 and 5 million on September 16. It went past 6 million on September 28; 7 million on October 11, crossed 8 million on October 29; 9 million on November 20 and surpassed the 10 million mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of 20 million Covid-19 cases on May 4.