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PoliticsIndiaMaharashtra health minister: Not enough Covid vaccine doses in state

Maharashtra health minister: Not enough Covid vaccine doses in state

Maharashtra is the major contributor to the rising active caseload of the country. The state logged more than 55,000 fresh Covid-19 infections in last 24 hours

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Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on 7 April said various Covid-19 vaccination centres in the state do not have enough vaccine doses, and people have to be sent back due to the paucity. Tope said the state government has demanded from the Centre to inoculate people from the age group of 20-40 years on priority.

Maharashtra is the major contributor to the rising active caseload of the country. The state logged more than 55,000 fresh Covid-19 infections in last 24 hours on 6 April.

“We do not have enough vaccine doses at various vaccination centres, and people have to be sent back due to a shortage of doses. We have demanded from the Centre that people of age group 20-40 years must be vaccinated on priority,” Tope said.

Further commenting on the healthcare in the state reaching capacity, he said, “We are working on war footing to increase the number of beds in Pune, Mumbai, Nashik and other parts of the state.”

Detailing about the Covid-19 vaccine stock in the state, the health minister said the state currently has 14 lakh vaccine doses which will get consumed in over three days. Adding that the government has asked the Centre for 40 lakh additional doses per week he clarified that while the Centre is giving us vaccines, the speed of delivery is slow.

“I’m not saying that the Center is not giving us vaccines but the speed of delivery of vaccines is slow,” Tope said.

The state health minister expressed concerns regarding a new strain of Sars-Cov-2 or Covid-19, which he said has increased the transmissibility of the infection. Double mutant strains, besides the variants of concern from Brazil, the UK, and South Africa have been reported in the country.

“We suspect that there is a new strain that is affecting people in a shorter duration of time. Samples have been sent to National Centre for Disease Control to ascertain this,” he said.

Approximately 82 lakh people have been vaccinated against the deadly virus in Maharashtra since the inception of the largest vaccination drive in January and four lakh people have been administered the vaccine doses daily for last few days, media reported.

“Maharashtra is at the top the position in inoculating vaccine to the beneficiaries. Daily we are covering 4.5 lakh beneficiaries and will touch 5 lakh mark soon,” Tope said.

On the oxygen supply capacity, Tope said 12 metric tonnes of oxygen is produced and over 7 tonnes is consumed daily. He added, ”We have demanded that we should be supplied medical oxygen from nearby states. If needed, we’ll close down industries that use oxygen but won’t let the supply of medical oxygen be affected,” media reported.

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