'Why Maharashtra facing discrimination?': Minister to Centre on vaccine shortage
"Maharashtra has been given 7.5 lakh vaccine dosages only. While Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana etc have been given far more vaccines than Maharashtra," Tope said.
Maharashtra health minister, Rajesh Tope on Thursday said that the state has only two days of stock of Covid-19 vaccines, after which it will officially run out of vaccine doses for the immunisation drive. "Vaccination has stopped in districts like Satara, Sangli and Panvel. There are many more districts where it has stopped. We have two more days of stock," he said on Thursday as the state remains on top to have the highest number of cases.
He also accused the Centre of supplying a lesser number of vaccines and said that the matter has been raised before the Centre through multiple various mediums. Citing figures from the latest release order of vaccines from the Centre, Tope claimed that states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana etc have been given more vaccines in comparison with population and Covid-19 cases, while the state "has been given 7.5 lakh vaccine dosages only", in the latest allotment.
While Tope was speaking, Centre increased the the limit to 17 lakhs. "Even this is less because we need 40 lakh vaccine doses a week and 17 lakh doses are not enough," Tope said after Centre's announcement.
"Our pace has increased, centres have increased. How can a state that has the most number cases in the country get lesser vaccine doses?" he asked. "I talked to Dr Harshavardhan (Union health minister)... I raised the issue of discrimination with us. We have the most number of active patients, positivity rate and death with 12 crore population. Why we are given so few vaccines?" he also asked.
Speaking further on the number of vaccines needed to inoculate Maharashtra residents, Tope said, "We want 1.6 crore vaccine dosages per month and 40 lakh every week because we are vaccinating 6 lakh people every day."
"Harshvardhan Ji assured me that corrections will be done soon. We are still waiting," he also said.
Many vaccination centres in Maharashtra are being closed temporarily owing to the shortage of vaccines. On Thursday, a vaccination centre in Mahim was closed after it ran out of vaccine doses. In Vashi, Jumbo Vaccination Center at ESIS Hospital also temporarily shut the vaccination operation as it also faced a shortage of vaccines to administer.
On Wednesday, Maharashtra reported 59,907 new Covid-19 infections, its highest single-day spike, and 322 fatalities, taking its total tally to 3,173,261 and death toll to 56,652. The number of active cases also crossed the 500,000-mark with 501,559 active infections.
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