New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday suggested that the Centre should share the COVID-19 vaccine formula of the two leading manufacturers with other companies in the country in order to scale up production.
“Not just two, several other companies should be deployed to produce COVID vaccines. Centre should collect the formula to produce vaccines from these 2 companies & give it to all those companies that can produce vaccine safely. Centre has the power to do this in these difficult times,” CM Kejriwal said.
Mr Kejriwal – who has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with these suggestions – said supply could be increased if more firms were allowed to make the vaccines.
The Delhi CM said that there is a shortage of vaccines across the country and an urgent need to ramp up its manufacturing on war footing while developing a national policy to inoculate everyone in the next few months.
“Only 2 companies are producing vaccines. They produce only 6-7 crore vaccines a month. This way, it’ll take over 2 years to vaccinate everyone. Many waves would’ve come by then. Important to increase vaccine production on war footing & frame national plan to vaccinate all,” Kejriwal said.
Only 2 companies are producing vaccines. They produce only 6-7 crore vaccines a month. This way, it'll take over 2 yrs to vaccinate everyone. Many waves would've come by then. Important to increase vaccine production on war footing & frame national plan to vaccinate all: Delhi CM pic.twitter.com/FRA75slmwZ
— ANI (@ANI) May 11, 2021
“The centre has the power to do this in these difficult times,” he stressed, writing to the PM, “every Indian should be vaccinated in the next few months and we are ready to play every role”.
“We’re administering 1.25 lakh doses every day. We’ll begin vaccinating over three lakh every day. We aim to vaccinate all residents within three months but we’re facing shortage,” the Chief Minister said.
Mr Kejriwal also spoke about the decline in daily new Covid cases in Delhi – from a high of around 28,000 per day late last month – and said he had used the lockdown to scale up infrastructure.
“With your cooperation, the lockdown was successful. We’ve increased the number of oxygen beds in the past few days. Yesterday, we set up 500 new ICU beds near GTB Hospital,” he said, adding, “Now there is no shortage of ICU and oxygen beds in Delhi.”
Delhi remains under a Covid lockdown till 5 am on May 17.
This morning’s appeal on vaccines comes a day after the Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the city only had enough Covaxin doses for a day and Covishield for four.
Vaccine supply issues – always a matter of concern – have become more pronounced since the centre widened the net to include all adults over 18 from May 1. Concerns over pricing – states pay at least double what the centre does – have further slowed procurement.
Late Monday night, the centre hit back over Delhi red-flagging low vaccine stocks, and accused the Arvind Kejriwal government of buying only 5.5 lakh doses.
The ruling AAP refuted the claim, and shared what it said was evidence the centre was deliberately “cutting short vaccine supplies to states and selling that to foreign countries”.
On Monday, Delhi recorded around 12,600 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours. The active caseload is now a little over 85,000 and the positivity rate is below 20 per cent for the first time since early April.
This morning the Union Health Ministry reported over 3.29 lakh new cases in the past 24 hours.