Kejriwal kickstarts drive-through Covid vaccination centre at Chhatrasal Stadium
- Arvind Kejriwal said the Delhi government has floated a global tender for vaccines and is making all efforts from its side, but big vaccine manufacturing companies want to deal with the Centre directly.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday launched the drive-through Covid-19 vaccination centre of the government at the Chhatrasal Stadium, where people above the age of 45 can get themselves vaccinated for free.
“The Delhi government has started a drive-in vaccination facility here at the Chhatrasal stadium. People can come here in their cars, motorcycles, some are even on foot, and can get vaccinated here. The vaccination is free at this centre. Right now, this has been initiated for those above the age of 45 years because there is no vaccine for those below it. As soon as adequate vaccines arrive, vaccination for those below the age of 45 (18-45 years) will also be started," Kejriwal said.
He said that the people are satisfied with the arrangements. "I spoke to some of the people who got themselves vaccinated here and they are very happy with the entire arrangement and by the fact that they got the jab," he added.
He said the Delhi government has floated a global tender for vaccines and is making all efforts from its side, but big vaccine manufacturing companies want to deal with the Centre directly.
“We have filed a global tender for vaccines. We are making all the efforts from our side but till now all the governments which filed a global tender, the outcomes of that have not been very fruitful. So, we have also filed it in the hope that a company comes forward, but on a general note from what I have understood is that all the big vaccine manufacturing companies of the world want to deal directly with the central government and are communicating directly with them. So only time will tell as to how successful the different state governments will be but we have filed a global tender from our side," he added.
He said that Delhi has recorded 900 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours and the Delhi government will unlock more activities in a phased manner as and when the cases decrease.
“Yesterday we announced that two activities - construction activities and factories can be opened up because the poor such as migrant laborers have faced the most difficulty during the lockdown. Today, only 900 cases have emerged for the first time, I hope that as and when the cases keep on decreasing in the upcoming weeks, we will continue to unlock further. We want the economic activities to come back on track so that the economy can be revived," he added.
He said he can understand the troubles of the traders and their anxiety. "I read in the newspapers that they are a bit upset. I want to tell them that it was with great difficulty that we were able to control the situation by imposing a lockdown. I can understand their difficulty but they should be patient and should not rush. We also want their markets and shops to open up and as and when the situation comes under control, we will open up everything," Kejriwal further said.
On the treatment of black fungus, the Delhi chief minister said the government has demanded medicines for the same. "I have black fungus data till yesterday. There are two kinds – that of Delhi government and that of private hospitals and the Central government hospitals on the other hand. In the Delhi Government hospitals, there are about 4,500 cases of black fungus. The central government hospitals are dealing directly with the Centre. We have demanded the medicines accordingly and I understand that there is a countrywide paucity of medicines. The Central government is giving whatever it can. As I understand, more injections of this medicine will be procured and will be distributed to all the state governments," he added.
On the question of politicising the vaccine procurement, Kejriwal said that this is not the time for petty politics since the Delhi government is demanding vaccines to vaccinate all the people of Delhi to protect them from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We just want vaccines, where is the politicization in this? The people need vaccines, they should tell where should we get the vaccines from. The Central government has to procure the vaccines, after doing so they should give them to us and we will administer them to everyone. This is not the time for petty politics. This is not the time to play a blame game. This is not the time for finger-pointing. This is not the time for debate and counter. The country is suffering from a pandemic. The experience of all of the world shows that vaccination is the sole solution for this. Therefore, they should buy vaccines for the entire country and distribute them to the state governments. We will administer them. Why they are debating over this is beyond my understanding," he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kejriwal inaugurated the city’s first drive-through Covid-19 vaccination centre, set up by Akash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital in Vegas Mall in Dwarka’s Sector 14 for people aged between 18 and 45, and said more such centres would be set up in the national capital.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal claimed that the national capital reported less than 1,000 daily cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for the first time since the second wave of pandemic grappled the nation. “Over the last 24 hours, around 900 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Delhi,” news agency ANI quoted Kejriwal as saying.