Amidst complaints of vaccine shortages raised by several States, India crossed a milestone of administering 10 crore doses as on Saturday. The Health Ministry claimed that India had administered these doses within 85 days, faster than the United States’ 89 days and China’s 103 days.
However, the 29 lakh doses administered within the last 24 hours were a significant decline from the 45 lakh doses — an all-time record — administered on April 5 (Monday). Since that high, the country’s daily vaccinations have seen a decline every day of the week, except for April 8, when it registered a moderate jump to 36 lakh doses and declined again on April 9.
Here are the latest updates:
Will impose lockdown if health infrastructure collapses: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told reporters his government was against imposing a lockdown in the city. “We have put in place restrictions instead, to curb the spread of the virus. I urge everybody to go out of their homes only if absolutely necessary.”
Only those patients who have a serious case of COVID-19 should visit hospitals, Mr. Kejriwal said, advising the others to remain in home isolation. “We have enough hospital beds as of now. But, if patients with mild symptoms occupy them, patients who need them desperately may be left out, leading to their death even.”
He repeated that lockdown would be imposed only if the health infrastructure collapsed. “I urge all Delhiites to fight this fourth and most serious wave together.”
He asked that the Delhi Corona app be downloaded in advance to check availability of beds instead of “moving from one hospital to the other trying to find beds”.
“People are also rushing to private hospitals where there is a shortage of beds. Over the past five years, Delhi government hospitals have improved. I urge people to visit government hospitals,” he said.
We need to speed up our vaccination drive, the CM said, adding, “I have spoken to experts who say that getting the vaccine does not mean that you will not get COVID -19. What it protects you from is a severe illness. People still need to wear masks and practice hand washing and social distancing even after getting vaccinated.”
Figures in Delhi show that this wave is more prevalent among the younger population, he saiid, urging the central government to allow those below 45 years of age to get the vaccination at the earliest.
– Jaideep Deo Bhanj
Rise in COVID-19 cases fills up beds in Chennai’s government hospitals
The day-to-day rise in fresh coronavirus infections in the city has led to beds filling up fast in major government hospitals in the city. In fact, a significant number of patients required oxygen support.
At the Government Medical College Hospital, Omandurar Estate, one of the earliest exclusive COVID-19 facilities in the city, 521 beds of the total 575 have been occupied. Of this, 337 patients were COVID-19 positive, while the remaining were patients with suspected symptoms of COVID-19.
“The cases are on the rise and the admissions are proportionate to it. Around two-third of the patients required oxygen. We are admitting persons who have comorbidities and those with significant lung involvement. We are seeing more young persons with lung involvement. We are also seeing sudden deterioration in patients, including the young,” R. Jayanthi, Dean of the hospital, said.
The Government Corona Hospital situated on the premises of the King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Guindy, was filled up nearly 20 days ago due to a steady flow of patients. The hospital has a total of 500 beds.
Jagan asks Modi for 25 lakh vaccine doses for State
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide 25 lakh doses of COVID vaccine to the State for administration during the Tika Utsav that begins on April 11.
In a letter dated April 9 to Mr. Modi, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said, “Your kind call for ‘Tika Utsav’ from 11th April to 14th April is a much-needed step to give the required push to different sections of the society to come forward for vaccination. We have planned to take this opportunity and participate on a large scale. The Utsav shall be taken up in one village and one ward under the jurisdiction of every Primary Health Centre (PHC).
“My state has a system of volunteers where a dedicated volunteer takes care of the needs of 50 families. Volunteers would be roped in to mobilise eligible persons. We shall cover 1,145 villages and 259 wards every day. In four days, 4,580 villages and 1,036 urban wards shall be covered to ensure all persons above 45 are vaccinated,” Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said in the letter.
Controversy over Remdesivir supply in Gujarat
A new controversy has erupted over the supply of Remdesivir, a life saving drug used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients, with Gujarat facing a major shortage in its stock amidst soaring demand.
On Friday, State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief C. R. Paatil had announced in his home town Surat that 5,000 injections would be distributed by the BJP free of charge to the needy in the city of Surat, one of the worst-hit in Gujarat. Mr. Paatil made the announcement while visiting COVID-19 hospitals in Surat. However, his announcement could not have come at the worse time as the Vijay Rupani-led State government has been struggling to ensure adequate supplies of the injection to hospitals inundated with COVID-19-infected patients as the second wave of the pandemic grips the State.
On Saturday, the Surat BJP office began distributing injections to relatives of patients in need.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that 10,000 injections had been made available for Surat through special arrangements. When he was asked how Mr. Paatil could get the stock to be distributed his party in the diamond city, Mr. Rupani quipped: “Ask him [Mr. Paatil] how he has managed to get the stock.”
Each one, vaccinate one: PM Modi
On the first day of ‘tika utsav’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes several suggestions, and says, “each one, vaccinate one”.’
“The tika utsav marks second big war on corona. We have to stress on personal and social hygiene,” Mr. Modi says. “Each one, protect one” and “each one, save one”, he says, in his call to the people of the country to fight the virus.
India’s COVID-19 active cases breach 11-lakh mark for first time
Hitting another record daily high of 1,52,879 new coronavirus infections, India’s COVID-19 tally of cases climbed to 1,33,58,805, while the active cases breached the 11-lakh mark for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on April 11.
The death toll increased to 1,69,275 with 839 daily new fatalities, the highest since October 18, 2020, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.
Registering a steady increase for the 32nd day in row, the active cases increased to 11,08,087 comprising 8.29% of the total infections, while the recovery rate further dropped to 90.44%, the ministry said.
Vaccine shortages flagged in many States
Punjab and Rajasthan have warned the Centre of diminishing coronavirus vaccine stocks. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said his state had only five days of vaccines left. Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, said stock were set to run out in 48 hours. Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, also said that he had less than a week’s supply.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in a call with State chief ministers this week called for a ‘Tika utsav’ (a festival of inoculations) from the 11-14th April.
(With inputs from Correspondents and Agencies)