New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal this afternoon wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and gave four suggestions on boosting vaccine production as he underlined the national capital has “paused the rollout” for the 18-44 age group due to a shortage of doses.
“To protect the country from a third Covid wave, it’s important to speed up the vaccination drive,” he said in an appeal to the centre earlier today.
“All the doses that we received from the government (for 18-44 age group) have been used. A few doses were left, which will also be used by the evening. This is sad. We have written to the centre about this…as soon as we receive supply, we will reopen the centres,” the Chief Minister during the video address.
Delhi requires 80 lakh doses a month to vaccinate its youth. But it only received 16 lakh doses in May. The Centre has further decreased Delhi’s quota in June to 8 lakh doses, Kejriwal said.
If the city gets 8 lakh doses every month, it will take at least 30 months to vaccinate the entire city, his letter read.
“It’s hard to imagine how many more Covid waves will hit the city by then and how many more lives will be lost,” the Delhi Chief Minister had said this afternoon, while addressing the centre.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief also shared four key suggestions with PM Modi to boost country’s vaccine production. Here’s what he said:
1. Delhi CM suggested central government should, within 24 hours, direct all capable companies in the country to start manufacturing Covaxin as Bharat Biotech has agreed to share its formula.
2. Kejriwal also suggested that foreign vaccine makers should be allowed to rollout their vaccines in 24 hours adding that Centre should speak to international manufacturers, buy from them and distribute to states.
3. Kejriwal also pointed out that there are several countries that have stocked more vaccines than they need and government should reach out to such nations and seek assistance.
4. Last, but not the least – Kejriwal said that foreign vaccine manufacturers should be granted permission to manufacture jabs in India.
Earlier this week, the Health Ministry said that the government has shared a forward plan till June 15 on vaccine doses and supply as it asked the states to prepare calendars on Cowin app, the government’s digital platform for booking slots.
Over 1.6 crore doses are still available with states and union territories, an official statement this morning said.
India was hit by a deadly second Covid wave in March. In the last two months, the daily cases soared, burdening the hospitals. While Delhi witnessed a surge in cases and deaths too, the positivity rate dropped to below 5 per cent for the first time since April 4 on Friday. The city has been under a lockdown since April 19.
Today India reported 2,57,299 fresh cases of Covid-19, lowest rise in infection since April 21, even as 4,194 people died due to the pandemic in last 24 hours.