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Coronavirus | Chhattisgarh Health Minister flags erratic vaccine supply

Lockdown not easy solution, says T.S. Singh Deo amid surge

With a record spike in COVID cases in Chhattisgarh and the Union Health Ministry also ticking off the State for failing to control the spread of the virus, State Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo hit back saying that the supply of vaccines have been erratic with supplies nearly running out on Monday.

Mr. Deo said with the spiralling cases, a partial lockdown in the affected districts cannot be ruled out.

The State on Monday reported the highest number of 7,302 COVID-19 cases in a day and 44 fatalities. Chhattisgarh’s Durg district is the latest entrant in the top ten districts with maximum active cases. The Union Health Ministry has said the number of deaths in the State is also worrying.

Mr. Deo said the State has 30,381 public sites where vaccinations are being administered for free along with private facilities for those who can pay.

“We have a capacity to administer four lakh vaccines in a day. But the supply has been erratic, which is a problem. We can not mobilise people and then turn them away just because we do not have the vaccines,” he told The Hindu. The State had nearly run out of stocks on Monday and doses were belatedly rushed. “The supply chain has to remain unbroken,” he added.

Mr Deo said the State unfortunately is in a worrisome situation and the immunity with the vaccine will also kick in only in 70 days for the population that is going through its first dose now. The government hospitals in the state are running out of the ICU beds, he said, adding to the already precarious situation. The State will hold a meeting on the situation on Wednesday.

“A lockdown will certainly slow down things. But the decision is with the Chief Minister (Bhupesh Baghel). But my suggestion is to not impose a lockdown based on a subjective decision. We should have certain criteria like the positivity rate and availability of hospital beds to take that recourse,” Mr Singh said. He added that a positivity rate of 25% is worrisome and 30% is a red alert.

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