Bengal prioritises Covid precautionary jab for people with health issues
District administrations across Bengal have asked gram panchayats to prioritise the precautionary booster dose for people with comorbidities in view of the spike in Covid-19 cases.
“In the past three waves, most Covid-19 patients with comorbidities needed hospitalisation. Although the rate of hospitalisation is not high this time, most patients who needed the institutional care had comorbidities,” said a senior health official in Calcutta.
On Saturday, chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi held a meeting with senior health officials, district magistrates and senior health officials, and directed them to set up more vaccination centres in a bid to give 5.42 crore persons the booster dose within 75 days.
The Centre announced free booster doses across the country for 75 days starting July 15. Since July 16, Saturday, Bengal has reported an average 3,00,000-plus jabs a day. On Monday, 3,69,911 booster doses were administered.
Health department sources said each district had a database of persons with comorbidities prepared during the second wave last year. Around 20 lakh in Bengal have comorbidities, an official said.
Anyone can take the booster dose offered free by the Centre. But the state government has asked districts to focus on those with comorbidities.
“We have asked officials in panchayats and block levels to tell those due for the precautionary dose and with comorbidities to come to the local vaccination centre immediately. People with comorbidities are our first priority,” said K. Radhika Aiyar, the Bankura district magistrate.
Six more die of Covid
Bengal on Monday reported 1,449 new Covid-19 infections, 2,651 recoveries and six deaths. There are 28,583 active cases, 28,887 in home isolation and 696 in hospitals, according to the state bulletin. Recovery rate was 97.55 per cent and mortality rate 1.03 per cent. Case positivity rate stood at 16.90 per cent on Monday when 8,573 samples were tested.