The Centre has asked states and Union Territories to step up the pace of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination process for healthcare workers as the centre is planning to gear up its infrastructure to kickstart the inoculation of people aged over 50 years. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to chief secretaries of all states and UTs on Sunday, asking them to instruct workers involved in the vaccination drive to increase the number of days designated for inoculation to four days per week as soon as possible.
Bhushan advised officials across the country to ensure that all public facilities starting from the district hospital, sub-divisional hospitals, community health centres, primary health care centres, health, and wellness centres, health sub-centres to tertiary level medical colleges, hospitals and institutes to step up their efforts as the nation plans to begin inoculating the elderly population and people with co-morbidities starting March 1.
Bhushan pointed out that a large number of healthcare workers across the country are yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 disease and it is necessary to vaccinate them quickly in order for other healthcare services to resume in a full-fledged manner akin to pre-pandemic times.
The daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country has concerned the state governments in Kerala and Maharashtra as well the Centre. The government has asked states to refocus their efforts on increased RT-PCR testing and containment of clusters where cases are on the rise.
According to the health minister, 11,085,173 vaccine doses have been administering through 230,888 sessions till Sunday. It has been said that 6,391,544 healthcare workers have been administered the first dose of the vaccine, 960,642 given the second dose and 3,732,987 frontline workers have been vaccinated with the first dose.