Lockdowns, curfews should not affect vaccination drive: Centre to states, UTs

India becomes fastest country to administer 12 crore coronavirus vaccinations.

The Union Health Ministry has written to states/UTs to ensure that movement restriction imposed by them for curbing Covid-19 spread does not adversely impact the vaccination exercise, by restricting access of beneficiaries to the vaccination centres.

In the letter to states/UTs, the ministry said it is being advised that the vaccination services should not be affected by coronavirus curfews, lockdowns and the movement of beneficiaries to and from Covid-19 Vaccination Centres (CNCs) should not be restricted during such interventions. “Similarly those CVCs which have been identified as dedicated Covid-19 hospitals should continue providing uninterrupted Covid-19 vaccination services,” the order said. The ministry also said that vaccination services should be provided in a separate building/block in these hospitals that are distinctly separated from the building block where management of Covid-19 patients is being done.

“This will ensure that beneficiaries of vaccination are not inadvertently exposed to Covid-19 these hospitals,” read the letter.

India reported its highest-ever single-day spike of Covid-19 cases with over 2.61 lakh new cases and 1,501 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry on Sunday. The active number of cases in the country stands at 18,01,316.

In the meantime, India took only 92 days to administer 12 crore Covid-19 vaccinations, the fastest country to do so across the world, reported the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

The United States is at the second position as it managed to reach the 12 crore mark in 97 days, followed by China, which took 108 days to reach the same target. As per a provisional report put together till 7am on Sunday, India has administered 12,26,22,590 vaccine doses.

These include 91,28,146 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the 1st dose and 57,08,223 HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose, 1,12,33,415 frontline workers (FLWs) (1stdose), 55,10,238 FLWs (2nddose), 4,55,94,522 1st dose beneficiaries and 38,91,294 2nd dose beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 4,04,74,993 (1st dose) and 10,81,759 (2nd dose) beneficiaries aged 45 to 60 years.

In India, states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have alone managed to give more than 1 crore doses each to their population. Gujarat completed 1 crore vaccinations on the 16 April, while the other three states achieved it on 14 April.

In a press statement, PIB revealed that “eight states account for 59.5% of the total doses given so far in the country”.

It also states that in the last 24 hours, 26 lakh people were vaccinated.