Covid jab shortage forces Odisha govt to suspend vaccine drive in 10 districts
The shortage of Covid-19 vaccines forced the Odisha government to suspend the ongoing vaccination campaign in as many as 10 districts on Saturday.
This is the second time this month that the government has been forced to stop the vaccination drive.
The districts where vaccination was stopped on Saturday are Balasore, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Kalahandi, Kendrapara, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nayagarh and Sonepur. However, the inoculation drive continued at 308 centres in other parts of the state, said officials. Odisha has 30 districts.
“We will intensify the vaccination drive after we get the vaccines. The vaccination programme has got a good response in the state and because of a coordinated effort, there is no wastage of vaccines. The cold chain has been maintained successfully,” additional chief secretary, health and family welfare, P.K. Mohapatra told The Telegraph.
A senior official said: “We are facing the heat at ground level. The people are pointing fingers at us. There are long queues outside the vaccination centres. If we don’t stop the vaccination programme and continue with a minimal stock, it may lead to a law and order problem. In order to avoid that, we have been forced to stop the vaccination programme for the time being. Once the vaccines arrive in the state, we will expedite the drive. We require at least 31 lakh doses in the month of July.”
Currently, the state has only 59,920 doses of Covishield and 393,010 doses of Covaxin. The state has vaccinated 1.32 crore people so far.
However, the death toll due to Covid-19 remains a cause of concern for the state. During the last 24 hours, the state reported 58 more deaths due to coronavirus, with the toll touching 4,534. Odisha registered 2,334 new cases on Saturday, taking the Covid-19 tally to 937,470.
Of the 2,334 new cases, 1,342 were recorded in quarantine centres and 992 detected during contact tracing, a health department official said.
Khurda district, of which Bhubaneswar is a part, reported the maximum number of new cases at 380, followed by Cuttack at 371, and Kendrapara at 196. Eight districts reported new cases each in triple digits.
Eleven fresh fatalities were reported from Khurda, seven each from Bargarh and Puri, six each from Ganjam and Sundergarh, four from Sambalpur, three from Kendrapara and two each from Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Nayagarh. One each succumbed to the infection in Angul, Gajapati, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi and Mayurbhanj.
This apart, 53 Covid-19 patients in the state have died due to comorbidities.
Amid allegations that the state government was suppressing casualty figures, the health department, in a statement, said: “The list does not reflect deaths that have occurred on a particular day. It gives details of past deaths for which the audit process has been duly completed and the cause identified as Covid-19.”
Odisha currently has 26,364 active cases, while as many as 906,519 patients, including 3,341 on Friday, have recovered.
Additional reporting from PTI