Over 3.48 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in country: Centre

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The concerns that India is sending more Covid-19 vaccine doses outside than using them at home may be unfounded as the government has supplied 75 million doses to states so far while 59 million doses have been exported or donated. 

However, there is still not enough supply to allow vaccination of all above 45 years as demanded by some states. As per Union Ministry of Health, 7.54 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin have been supplied so far.  The country has supplied 59 million doses of these two vaccines as part of the individual agreement by the vaccine makers, an international agreement involving the WHO or vaccine diplomacy by India. 

“As of now we are in a comfortable situation for the national vaccination drive but we will definitely need faster supply of vaccines as it picks up pace,” a senior health ministry official said.  States like West Bengal and Rajasthan, have complained about inadequate availability of vaccines.

The Centre has maintained that there is no supply issue but sources in the National Expert Group on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration told this newspaper that a plan to include all above 50 years in the vaccination coverage had been delayed, precisely for this reason.

“As the drive has picked up now and daily vaccination numbers have even crossed 2-3 million mark on certain days, we definitely need a bigger stock before the coverage criteria is further relaxed,” said a member of the committee.

It is for this reason, possibly, that only five million doses out of ten million doses agreed- to be sent to the UK by the Serum Institute of India which is manufacturing Covid19 vaccine by AstraZeneca-Oxford University under the brand name of Covishield, has been supplied.

“Five million doses had been delivered a few weeks ago to the UK and we will try to supply more later, based on the current situation and the requirement for the government immunisation programme in India,” said the company.

Punjab extends night curfew in nine districtsWarning of several more tough measures and restrictions over the next few days, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced a two-hour extension in the night curfew in the nine worst affected districts. Night curfew will now be in place from 9 pm to 5 am, instead of 11 pm to 5 am, in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Ropar. All these districts are reporting more than 100 Coivid cases daily.

The announcement came as daily cases shot up to 2,039 with 35 deaths on Wednesday. The CM said Covid situation was critical and that he was going to be tough.  Several other stringent measures, including restrictions on gatherings, will be announced after discussions with the state government’s expert Covid team, he said. Whether these will include restrictions on political gatherings was also something that will be decided as per the team’s advice, he added.

Airlines start to act against mask violatorsAmid rising Covid-19 cases, airlines have started acting against those passengers who are refusing to wear masks in the flights as per recent guidelines issued by the aviation regulator. Indigo, Air Asia and Alliance Air have acted against eight such travellers in the last few days. As per recent guidelines by the DGCA, strict action will be taken against those passengers who refuse to wear masks. Such passengers can be put on the no-fly list or in harsher situations be even handed over to the security officials. Officials said that DGCA is monitoring and airlines have been asked to take appropriate actions for not following rules.

35,871 New cases in 24 hrs

140  Tests per day

No of tests done  23 crore