Covid: Jabs on priority for Assam vulnerable groups
The Assam government has adopted a “targeted approach” towards vaccination where all frontline workers and persons coming in contact with the masses are accorded priority for effective Covid-19 management in the state.
Government sources said chief secretary Jishnu Baruah has conveyed to the deputy commissioners during his interactions or during his weekend trips to various district headquarters to review Covid-19 and flood scenario to have a “vision plan” and “roadmap” in prioritising vaccination for those category of persons who are vulnerable and immediately vaccinate them or else “they might end up as super-spreaders”.
Till Friday, over 37.7 lakh people have received at least one vaccine dose in the state.
Shortage of vaccines is one reason why the government is pushing for priority vaccination along with the ongoing drive to inoculate those 18 years and above.
“Things should normalise by July but we need to be ready for a possible third wave,” an official said.
The vulnerable groups include the Anganwadi workers, police personnel, persons with disabilities, care-givers, prisoners and jail and hospital staff.
Once this section is taken care of, the focus would be on pavement dwellers and vendors, mostly found in bigger towns.
The pandemic situation in the state turned alarming in mid-April because of rampant violation of Covid protocol during campaigning for the three-phase Assembly polls, among others. Though the worst phase of the second wave seems to be over, most say lowering the guard now could prove costly.
Till Saturday, Assam had 45,477 active cases with a positivity rate of 2.16 per cent. Till now, 3,873 persons have succumbed to Covid, with more than 2,800 casualties in the second wave.
Baruah has so far held review meetings in West Karbi Anglong, Baksa, Udalguri, Sonitpur and Biswanath districts during his weekend trips since the second half of May.
During his review meeting in Biswanath on Saturday, Baruah also asked the district health wing to ramp up vaccination in tea garden areas.
Stressing on testing and vaccination as the only two ways of controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, the chief secretary also stressed on the need for strict and compulsory testing of passengers arriving by trains and ensuring social distancing at relief camps for the flood affected, if necessary, by opening more camps.
Referring to the recent opening of a 300-bed Covid hospital at Sarusajai stadium in Guwahati, Baruah said the state government was preparing the required infrastructure needed to tackle a possible third wave.
Meanwhile, the Assam government on Tuesday extended the ongoing Covid-19 restriction till June 22, easing certain curbs in some districts.