'Har Ghar Dastak' vaccination drive extended till Dec 31 amid omicron threat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of door-to-door Covid-19 vaccination campaign on November 3 with the agenda to ramp up first dose inoculation as well as administer second dose to beneficiaries, who are yet to receive it.
The ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ or door-to-door vaccination campaign against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), launched by the central government earlier this month, will be continued till December 31, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday.
The campaign has been extended with a focus on achieving 100 per cent first-dose Covid-19 vaccination coverage, and also completing the backlog of the second dose, it further said.
On November 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the campaign after conducting a review meeting with officials of 45 districts across 12 states and UTs, including Delhi and Maharashtra, where the first dose of Covid-19 vaccination was low.
The campaign was initially launched with a month-long objective, but its extension that comes at a time the world is grappling with ‘omicron’, can be seen as a measure to tackle the new Covid-19 variant.
Earlier in the day, the Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a review meeting with officials of all states and UTs over the omicron strain. During the meeting, Centre advised the states and UTs to accelerate testing for early identification and management of Covid-19 positive cases, highlighting that the omicron variant “does not escape RT-PCR and RAT (Rapid Antigen) tests.”
Meanwhile, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has extended the existing Covid-19 guidelines across the country till December 31 in wake of the omicron variant. Furthermore, states and UTs have been advised to strictly follow the November 25 advisory wherein “rigorous screening and testing” must be conducted on all international passengers, and their contacts must be closely tracked. If any sample is found to be Covid-19 positive, it must be sent to the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (IGSLS) to find out if the individual is infected with the omicron variant.
On Tuesday, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya restated at the Parliament that no case of omicron Covid-19 variant has been detected in India so far.