Other States

Explore all options for supply of vaccines, Punjab CM tells Health Department

With government hospitals in Punjab failing to kick-start the COVID-19 inoculation programme for the 18-44 age group due to non-availability of vaccine doses, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed the Health Department to explore all options to augment supply of vaccines to the State.

Though the State government had made a payment of ₹10.37 crore to the Serum Institute of India (SII) for the procurement of around 30 lakh doses of the Covishield vaccine on April 26, it was yet to receive any supply schedule from the company, Health Secretary Hussan Lal informed the Cabinet during a virtual meeting.

Mr. Lal said the company had only indicated that the availability of the vaccine could be known after at least four weeks.

Only some private hospitals in the State, which had placed direct orders for vaccines, have begun vaccinating people in the 18-44 age group.

The Chief Minister again ruled out a complete lockdown in the State, noting that the restrictions currently in place in the State were more stringent than the lockdown conditions in many other States such as Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. He announced a series of relaxations and relief measures to alleviate the woes of various sections of people.

Amid the oxygen crisis, the government announced thrust sector status for all oxygen product units, while appointing a nodal officer to coordinate with the Customs Department for quick clearance of foreign aid, a statement said.

The status, approved by the Cabinet, will apply to oxygen production units with a minimum capacity of 700 cylinders per day which is equivalent to 5 MT, oxygen cylinder manufacturers/fabricators, and oxygen concentrator manufacturing units. Oxygen refilling units will not be covered by the special status.

The Chief Minister warned that the COVID-19 situation could worsen, directing everyone to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 6:06:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/explore-all-options-for-supply-of-vaccines-punjab-cm-tells-health-department/article34494331.ece

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