AAP govt. to provide free COVID vaccination if Centre doesn’t: CM

List of 600 sites sent to Centre for phase-1 starting Saturday

January 14, 2021 01:39 am | Updated 05:30 am IST - New Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. File

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. File

The Delhi government will provide free COVID-19 vaccination to residents of the Capital if the Centre fails to do so, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday. His comment came following a visit to the family of Dr. Hitesh Gupta, employed with the Delhi government, who lost his life after contracting the virus in the line of duty. The government announced financial assistance of ₹1 crore to the family.

“The vaccine will start getting administered on January 16. It will first be given to corona warriors such as healthcare workers, front-line workers. I had appealed to the Central government that ours is a poor nation, and a pandemic like this has hit the nation after 100 years, since 1918 when the Spanish flu hit humankind,” the Chief Minister said. “There are a lot of people who would not be able to afford the vaccine. I had appealed to the Centre to provide free vaccine to all the people of the country. If required and if the Centre doesn’t do it, the Delhi government will provide free vaccine to all residents.”

Mr. Kejriwal expressed gratitude to the family of Dr. Gupta, who worked in a government dispensary in Karkardooma and succumbed to COVID in November 2020, for his sacrifice for the people of Delhi. He assured that his government will do whatever it can to support the family.

The Delhi government has sent a list of 600 sites, including schools and government offices, to the Centre for the first phase of the vaccination drive which aims to cover 51 lakh citizens including healthcare and front-line workers.

A government official said these vaccination centres will be opened gradually as more vaccine stocks arrive even as efforts to increase the number of such centres for continuous vaccination beginning Saturday are under way.

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