Delhi Budget: Govt allocates ₹50 cr for free Covid-19 shots at its hospitals
Delhi's deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will continue to be available free of cost for people in government hospitals in future phases of the inoculation drive as he presented the seventh budget of the Aam Aadmi Party government. “We have allotted ₹50 crore budget for this... Our government has decided that Delhi residents will continuously be provided for free in government hospitals. Soon, per day vaccination capacity will be increased to 60,000 from 45,000,” Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, said while presenting the budget financial year 2021-22 in the Delhi assembly.
Private hospitals charge ₹250 for each dose for immunising those over the age of 60 and those between the ages of 45 and 59 with comorbidities. As Sisodia presented a ₹69,000 crore budget, he allocated ₹9934 crore or 14% of the total budget to health.
"For people to get freedom from Covid-19, a person can go to a private hospital and pay ₹250 and get a vaccine shot. But there are many who have to think about whether they should spend money to get ration for the family or on vaccines. In the 75th year of Independence, this question should not arise in their minds. So, we have decided that vaccines at our hospitals will continue to be given for free to people," he said.
Sisodia said the outlay of ₹50 crore has been made under the 'Aam Aadmi Nishulk Covid Vaccine Yojana'. “While taking a lesson from our Covid-19 management, ₹1,293 has been set aside for expansion of healthcare services, including opening of new hospitals, renovating old ones and augmenting beds in them,” he added.
On Monday, Sisodia said that Delhi was among the states that conducted the highest number of Covid-19 tests in the country. He said, while presenting the outcome budget in the Delhi assembly, that there were 87.8 lakh Covid-19 tests conducted in the city till December 31, 2020, of which nearly 36% were done using the more accurate RT-PCR method.
This ratio has further improved over the past two months, with two of every three tests being conducted using the RT-PCR method. He also said the city was able to manage three waves of the dreaded infection – 8,593 cases were reported in a single day during the third wave in November – due to timely augmentation of hospital infrastructure as well as by starting home isolation.
Delhi recorded 239 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, lower than the infections reported over the weekend, the health bulletin released by the government showed. The Capital’s tally of the coronavirus disease stands at 641,340.
The Delhi government on Tuesday presented a ₹69,000-crore budget themed on "patriotism" for financial year 2021-22. Sisodia said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has decided to celebrate the country's 75th Independence Day and will hold programmes for 75 weeks from March 12. He said the government has proposed to allocate ₹45 crore under the Deshbhakti Budget to install high masts to hoist the national flag at 500 places in the national capital.
The deputy chief minister also pointed out that the total outlay of the budget is 6.1% more than the budget presented for the financial year 2020-21.