Vaccination drive to resume as Ernakulam gets 30,000 doses

A vaccination centre shut in Kochi city due to shortage of vaccine.   | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

The district has received 30,000 doses of vaccines out of the 1.75 lakh doses made available to five regions including Ernakulam.

This is expected to offer a temporary solution to the increasing shortage of vaccines in the district. The vaccination drive will resume from Tuesday, according to the health authorities.

Mega vaccination camps have been stopped on a temporary basis. The priority will be for the vaccination drive in government hospitals, primary health centres and private hospitals.

The district administration had asked for 60,000 doses to tide over the shortage of vaccines. Steps will be taken to procure more doses. The vaccination drive will be expanded as per the availability of new stock, according to an official communication.

The Health Department will recommend allocating 20% of beds, ventilators, oxygen and ICU facility in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients in the coming days. Special testing camps will be held again on Tuesday and Wednesday. The camps will focus on people who had participated in election-related activities and those prone to infection.

District Medical Officer N.K. Kuttapan said the effort was to curb the spread by increased testing. More first and second line treatment centres will be set up in the district to check the second wave. The district has now got 1,076 ICU beds and 359 ventilators.

The ward-level initiatives to tackle the pandemic will be strengthened in the district. A meeting attended by Ministers K.K. Shylaja and A.C. Moideen on Monday decided to ensure the participation of local bodies, volunteers and merchant and industrial communities in the drive.

The functioning of the local administrative committees will be rejuvenated. The services of Anganwadi and ASHA workers, and junior health inspectors will be utilised. The ward-level samithis will visit each household and create awareness. They will monitor and report the health condition of those in home quarantine. The health protocol will be maintained while visiting houses.

The samithis will carry out daily monitoring and assessment of the pandemic situation in each ward. Members of the Kudumbashree network will be part of the drive. Steps will be taken to ensure that those aged above 45 years in each ward have received vaccination. The civic bodies will be responsible for taking steps against the spread in shops and other commercial units. The monitoring in migrant workers’ camps will continue as scheduled. Community kitchens will be launched, if required.

Ms. Shylaja asked the district administration to ensure adequate supply of oxygen in treatment centres. Sarada Muraleedharan, Additional Chief Secretary, said necessary steps would be taken to allocate more funds to local bodies. District Collector S. Suhas said about 3,333 oxygen beds were available in Ernakulam. An additional 1,000 such beds will be set up in the coming days.

About 7.25 lakh doses of vaccines were distributed in the district. Mayor M. Anilkumar said more first-line treatment centres would be set up within Kochi Corporation limits. The centres could start functioning, after the deployment of doctors, he added.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 11:07:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/vaccination-drive-to-resume-as-ernakulam-gets-30000-doses/article34362772.ece

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