Covid-19 vaccine distribution | The Health Ministry asked the state governments to work closely with the Center

Covid-19 vaccine distribution | The Health Ministry asked the state governments to work closely with the Center:

The Health Ministry on Tuesday said it has asked the State governments to refrain from making isolated plans for vaccine distribution. He said they have been advised to create a database according to the blueprint issued by the Central government and also take stock of the storage and transport facility for the distribution.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said States have been asked to work with the Central government which has set up an expert committee on vaccine administration and to adhere to the directions from the Centre.

“States/UTs have been also asked to set up committees under Chief Secretaries for administration to ensure time-bound implementation of the Central government direction,’’ he said.

The Ministry noted that the expert committee besides using the infrastructure of the immunisation programme is also looking at the infrastructure and manpower support that the private players can offer.

Giving details about the progress on the COVID-19 cases, Mr. Bhushan said Manipur, Delhi, Kerala and West Bengal are showing a rise, as is reported this month.

“These States need to continue the test-track-trace-and-treat strategy. They have also been asked to preserve and protect the gains of the past and guard against future surge during festivals by following COVID appropriate behaviour,’’ he said.

He said the new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours have fallen under 40,000. “The daily new cases now stand at 38,310 which has happened after 15 weeks [105 days]. The new added cases were 37,724 on July 22.’

NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul, also speaking at the conference, said India needs to be cautious now. “We are still vulnerable and the situation is still not fully under our control. We need to build on the gains India has been able to achieve so far. The public effort has to remain sustained. We have to test, isolate and work at breaking the transmission of the virus. Anyone who has symptoms should get tested. This will keep your family and society safe,” he said.

“Every missed case means multiple infections and we are duty-bound as citizens to get ourselves treated. Any symptoms of cold, fever, throat irritation should be taken as COVID, unless proven otherwise during this season.’’ He said social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks are our ultimate vaccine.

Reiterating this, Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava said: “COVID appropriate behaviour is the most cost-effective, preventive treatment against this disease and we should take this seriously. There is more data emerging now that masks are as good as a vaccine. We recommend using a mask while walking and exercising.’’

The Ministry on Tuesday said the active COVID cases have drastically declined below 5.5 lakhs and the positive cases are 5,41,405 comprising 6.55% of the total cases. The total recovered cases have crossed 76 lakhs (76,03,121). The gap between active cases and recovered cases has crossed 70 lakhs on Tuesday and stands at 70,61,716.

According to the data released by the Ministry, 58,323 patients have recovered and been discharged in the last 24 hours.

“80% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 States/UTs with Maharashtra leading with more than 10,000 single-day recoveries followed by Karnataka with more than 8,000 recoveries,’’ it said.

Also 74% of the new confirmed cases are from 10 States and UTs. Kerala, Delhi and Maharashtra have contributed the maximum to them with more than 4,000 cases. West Bengal follows with more than 3,000 new cases.

India has reported 490 case fatalities in the past 24 hours. “Of these, nearly 80% are concentrated in 10 States/UTs. Maharashtra has reported the maximum single day deaths (104). India’s case fatality rate stands at 1.49%,’’ said the Ministry.

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