Punjab has only five days of Covid vaccine left: CM
During review meeting convened by Sonia, Capt Amarinder Singh says anger against farm laws is impacting the vaccination drive in agrarian state
Punjab’s Covid-19 vaccine stock will last another five days, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh said on Saturday as he urged the Centre to share the schedule of supply of the vaccines.
The state has been inoculating 85,000-90,000 beneficiaries in a day, and at this rate, Punjab’s present stock of 5.7 lakh vaccine doses will run out in five days, he said.
Pinning hopes on fresh batches of vaccines from the Centre, Singh said that if Punjab was able to meet its target of administering two lakh shots a day, then its supplies will last only three days.
Amarinder writes to Modi, Harsh Vardhan
In an official statement in Chandigarh, he said he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union health minister Harsh Vardhan to give confirmed supply schedules for the next quarter.
Despite being a slow-starter in vaccination, Punjab has inoculated more than 16 lakh people, at an average of 85,000-90,000 a day, the chief minister said at a virtual meeting convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the party-ruled states.
The meeting was attended by chief ministers of Congress-ruled states and senior party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi.
Capt Amarinder Singh said people in Punjab were still not coming out in large numbers for vaccination due to the massive anger against the Government of India on the issue of farm laws.
Since Punjab has a majority population of the agriculture community, even the common man is affected by the farmers’ agitation, he said. “This anger is impacting the vaccination drive,” he said.
The chief minister said his government was undertaking an extensive media campaign to address misinformation around Covid-19 and vaccination hesitancy.
Curve has flattened over fortnight but case fatality rate a concern
Ranked 18th in the country at present in terms of daily cases reported, Punjab is showing a positivity rate of around 8%, with an average of nearly 3,000 new cases a day for over two weeks now, Capt Singh told Sonia Gandhi.
The number of daily cases is slightly stable, he pointed out, adding, “This shows that the steps taken in the last three weeks are in the right direction.” Even in the graphs put up by the health ministry in the Prime Minister’s review meeting, the “curve appears to have flattened over the past fortnight,” Singh said.
He said the state has 27,200 active cases at present and a recovery rate of 87.1%.
The number of daily fatalities is a concern for Punjab as it is reporting around 50-60 deaths in a day, with a case fatality rate (CFR) just under 2% in the second wave.
Overall, the CFR is 2.77% for all reported cases since March 2020, he said.
High positivity among youngsters
Pointing out that on April 9, a total of 3,459 people tested positive in Punjab and 56 deaths were reported, the chief minister said the high death rate is due to late reporting to hospitals and high comorbidities (non-communicable diseases).
According to reports from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), high positivity is being seen in the younger population.
More than 80% samples have been found to be positive for the more contagious and virulent UK variant of the disease, the CM said as he spoke about measures taken by his government to combat the spread.
He apprised Sonia Gandhi of his communication with the Centre to seek flexibility for states to devise their local vaccination strategies.