HC asks Centre to respond to state’s request for 3.5 mn vaccines per week
Bengaluru: The Karnataka high court on Tuesday directed the Government of India to consider state’s request for 3.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine per week. The direction came after the Karnataka government submitted before the court that the state would be able to provide vaccination to all beneficiaries within three months if 3.5 million doses of vaccines are provided to the state every week.
The state claimed that the government is capable of vaccinating 500,000 people per day and the demand for 3.5 million vaccination per day is based on this calculation. The state stated that as of August 5, the government has received a total of 20.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, out of which 204,000 doses are Covishield and 3.49 million are that of Covaxin. It is also said that the total eligible beneficiaries in the state who are above 18 years of age are 40.9 million and the total doses administered as of August 5, are 30.2 million.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar said, “If some state government is able to achieve the tall target, the Government of India shall welcome that and assist it.”
The court suggested that, “There is no clarity on the effectiveness of Covaxin and Covishiled, if the vaccines are effective for a limited period, necessary provisions shall be made for providing further doses in the action plan.” The court also directed the Government of India to respond on this point.
Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday gave a slew of directions to the police including maintaining a tight vigil in the districts bordering neighbouring states where the Covid-19 cases are on the rise. He also directed them to have zero tolerance towards crime and crack down on drug cases. Hailing the police force in the state for their exemplary work during a review meeting at the Vidhana Soudha, Bommai directed the officials to create a peaceful environment in the state. The chief minister also laid emphasis on containing Covid-19 to avoid the third wave.
“Action has to be taken to prevent the possible Covid third wave. Precautions have to be taken at the border districts. Senior officers will have to work more responsibly. Inspection at the check posts in borders will be mandatory,” a statement issued by the chief minister’s office said.
Revenue minister R Ashok, in charge of pandemic management in Bengaluru on Monday, said tough measures to control the spread of the virus will be imposed in the city after August 15. When questioned whether this would mean weekend curfews and closure of economic activity, he said nothing can be ruled out and decisions will be taken based on the evolving situation. “The vaccination rate in the city is good, which we hope will reduce the number of hospitalisations and deaths in the city, even if the cases shoot up,” he said.
Meanwhile, after restrictions on people arriving from Kerala, the Chamarajanagar district administration has now made it mandatory for travellers from Tamil Nadu to furnish negative Covid-19 reports that are not older than 72 hours at the time of arrival.
The decision comes in the wake of fresh cases rising in the neighbouring state. The negative report rule for travellers from Tamil Nadu will kick in from Sunday. Chamarajanagar district administration has intensified screening of people at Punajanur checkpost, Naal Road near Ardhanipura and the checkpost at Palar in Hanur taluk on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.
Travellers who do not submit Covid-19 negative reports on arrival will be turned back. The rule also applies to drivers of vehicles carrying fruit and vegetables and other essential commodities between the states. However, those who have been fully vaccinated (both doses) are exempted, but they must produce their vaccination certificate at the border to enter. Health authorities are also thermal screening travellers at check-posts.