Coronavirus second wave: As Covid-19 cases surge, states witness vaccines, beds shortage

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covid 19Many states/UTs are now looking forward to putting their demands forward in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in today’s meeting where the PM will discuss management of the surge in COVID-19 cases.At a time when single-day cases of the novel Coronavirus have surpassed more than 1 lakh, states/UTs across India are witnessing a shortage of vaccines as well as beds in hospitals. Many states/UTs are now looking forward to putting their demands forward in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in today’s meeting where the PM will discuss management of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Maharashtra, which has been reporting the highest number of new/ active cases, has reported a shortage of vaccines as well as hospital beds. A report by The Indian Express noted that the bed shortage for Covid-19 patients is likely to become a problem in the state in the next 7-10 days. The state has recently added more centres for COVID-19 care in rural areas and is working on getting private hospital beds on board. In order to curb viral transmission, the state has ramped up vaccination to over 4 lakh people per day. Going by this, the 13 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses now present with the state are only enough to last just three days. This calls for fresh supplies. In fact, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope has also demanded the Centre to allow vaccination of the people belonging to the 20-40 year age group.

Similarly in Punjab, the caseload has become severe and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh highlighted the need for administering as many as 2 lakh daily doses. In order to achieve this, the state will be needing more vaccines. The minister has also written to the central government for 8 lakh more doses.

In the case of Odisha, the state is only left with the stock of three days, the report said. The state government has now asked for 15-20 lakh advance doses of Covishield from this centre. As on April 6, 3,47,180 doses of Covishield along with 1,36,820 doses of Covaxin vaccine have been left with peripheral Cold Chain Points. In a letter written to the Union Health Ministry, the state said there is NIL stock of Covishield vaccine “in all Regional & District vaccine stores.” This has led to the closure of 400 vaccination centres across the state and as long as the shortage of vaccination continues, Odisha will not be able to match with their targets.

The pressure has increased for Karnataka as the viral cases are on a surge with hospitals on the verge of being overwhelmed. The officials noted that if 4,000-5,000 cases are added every day in the city, it can get problematic. The state government has also re-issued orders stating that 50 per cent of beds in private hospitals will be used for government-referred patients. At the same time, the state officials have also appealed for more vaccine doses.

While these states are seeking more stock for the Coronavirus vaccine, there are some states that have sufficient doses for now. The report highlighted that the health department of Kerala has ample vaccines with 15,49,570 doses. It is to note that the state received 9,51,500 doses of Covisheld on April 5.

Gujarat, on the other hand, has a stock of around 15 lakh doses which have been kept across six regional stores and the state has not made any special request for more vaccines. However, the caseload has been on a rise in Gujarat and around 63 per cent of the hospital beds are now occupied with COVID-19 infected patients. For Rajasthan, the government has sufficient stock to vaccinate those above 45 years of age, which accounts for about 25 per cent of Rajasthan’s population.

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