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U'khand urges Centre if state can directly import vaccine, says it needs 1 lakh doses per day

·4 min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], May 11 (ANI): Amid rising cases of COVID-19, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash on Monday said the state needs one lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine per day.

Addressing a joint press conference here yesterday, Prakash stated that the state government has requested the central government to allow the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines from abroad.

"We need 1 lakh vaccine doses per day. We have written to the Central Government to ask if the state government can import the vaccine directly from other countries. Meanwhile, we have decided to start a mobile testing van very soon. The vehicle will go to remote rural areas to identify the patients and check them for Covid-19 there itself. This will save them the hassle of going to the city for Covid-19 testing," said the Chief Secretary.

Prakash further informed that oxygen beds currently in use in the state get 126 metric tonnes of oxygen per day as against the actual requirement of 130 metric tonne.

He stated that hospitals are generating five metric tonnes of oxygen, adding that more oxygen plants are coming up in the medical facilities of the state which will increase the oxygen production capacity of the state by four metric tonnes.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Health Secretary Amit Negi informed that the state had 673 oxygen-supported beds in March 2020 which has now increased to 5,500.

He further said, "There were 216 ICUs in the state in March 2020. The number has now gone up to 1,390. The number of ventilators has also increased from 116 in March 2020 to 876 now. Also, the number of oxygen cylinders and concentrators has increased significantly in the state. Currently there are 9,900 oxygen cylinders and 1,293 oxygen concentrators in the state."

He also stated that ambulance services and COVID-19 testing labs have also increased in the state, adding that there are 360 ambulances in the state at present and 10 government labs are cnducting tests across the state round the clock.

Responding to a question on the rising mortality rate in the state, the Chief Secretary said that most of the deaths are due to late admission of the COVID-19 patient.

He also said that the Health Secretary will talk to the hospital management and review the availability of beds in hospitals, adding that a joint team comprising of officials from the Health department, district officers, and police will inspect hospitals.

"Remediviser injections will be available in the markets at the rates fixed by the government, nothing extra shall be charged," he added.

Health Secretary Amit Negi informed that Covid-dedicated hospital with a capacity of 500-beds is being constructed in Dr Susheela Tiwari Government Hospital, Haldwani; a 500-bed Covid hospital is being built in Rishikesh and a 100-bed ICU hospital is also being set up within AIIMS Rishikesh.

Additional Health Secretary Pankaj Pandey said," If the RT-PCR reports are late, the person who will get the test done will be given a Corona kit. This system has been implemented in all the districts. The goal is to reduce the death toll."

As per the state health bulletin, Uttarakhand had 74,480 active COVID-19 cases till Monday 7 am. The death toll in the state stands at 3,896.

The Uttarakhand government had on Sunday imposed a state-wide lockdown till May 18 in light of the rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases.

Cabinet minister and government Spokesperson Subodh Uniyal had said that shops will only be open from 7 am to 10, except tomorrow (Monday), where shops will be open till 1 pm.

"Uttarakhand government has decided to impose 'COVID Curfew' between 6 am on May 11 and 6 am on May 18 across the state to contain the spread of the disease. Essential services will be allowed during this period," Uniyal had said.

Uniyal had further said the not more than 20 people be allowed to attend a wedding ceremony, and for interstate movements, vehicles will not be allowed to take more than 50 per cent of passengers.

"Interstate travellers will now have to produce negative RT-PCR results not older than 72 hours and will have to register themselves on the Dehradun administration's portal. People of Uttarakhand coming from outside will have to undergo 7-day isolation," Uniyal had said.

All those travelling to get vaccinated will be exempted from the ban for but they will have to show registration, the minister had said.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Monday inaugurated the vaccination drive for people above 18 years of age. (ANI)

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