Why COVID-19 vaccination can't be opened for all at present in India? Centre explains
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in his media briefing on Tuesday said that the COVID-19 vaccination cannot be opened for everybody
New Delhi: Amid the sharp rise in cases of coronavirus in India in the past few weeks, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday clarified that COVID-19 vaccination is being carried out on the basis of priority.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in his media briefing on Tuesday said that the vaccinations cannot be opened for everybody currently. "Globally vaccination drives have a single goal: to curb deaths of the most vulnerable group affected by Covid-19," he said.
He pointed that the health care system and health care workers in India need to be protected. "What will happen if maximum numbers of health care workers get affected by COVID-19? Our health care system will collapse. We don't want this situation. And hence, the vaccination cannot be opened for all at present," the Union Health Secretary informed.
Bhushan also stated that the objective of the drive is to vaccinate the ones who need it most, rather than the ones who want to get vaccinated.
Talking about Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in India, Bhushan stated that of all the active cases in India, 58 per cent are in Maharashtra. As many as 34 per cent of the total deaths have also been reported from Maharashtra.
"We have suggested to state governments to increase the percentage of RT-PCR tests, which is reducing in Maharashtra in the last few weeks. Only 60 per cent of total tests were done through the RT-PCR method in Maharashtra last week. We suggest states take it to 70 per cent or above," Bhushan added.
On Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to permit people above 25 years of age to receive COVID-19 jabs, which he said will protect the youths from the rapid spread of infection at a time when they are stepping outside their homes to earn a livelihood.
In a letter to the PM Modi, CM also demanded that Maharashtra be provided 1.5 crore additional doses of vaccines, which will enable the state government to complete within three weeks the vaccination of the beneficiaries above 45 years of age in six districts, including Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra's COVID-19 cases again increased above the half-lakh threshold for the second time in just three days. Tuesday witnessed 55,469 fresh cases with the total tally crossing 31 lakh, according to health officials.
The deaths also gone up from 155 a day earlier to 297, as the total stood at 56,330. The number of people sent to home isolation shot up to 24,55,498 now, while those moved to institutional quarantine increased to 22,797.