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Only fully vaccinated people to get ration from next year: Madhya Pradesh govt

According to the MP government order, the beneficiaries will not get ration after December 31 if they are not fully vaccination against Covid-19.
If they are not vaccinated, the ration shop owners has to ensure counselling sessions at nearby health facilities, the MP government said. (HT file photo)
Updated on Nov 18, 2021 01:20 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, Bhopal

The Madhya Pradesh food and civil supplies department has issued an order stating that beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act will not get subsidised ration without proof of Covid-19 vaccination, move aimed at ensuring that those reluctant to be vaccinated against the viral disease are persuaded to do so.

The order, released on November 8 to all district civil supplies officers, was made public on Tuesday.

According to the order, the beneficiaries will not get ration after December 31 if they fail to get both doses of the Covid -19 vaccine. “A public distribution system (PDS) shopkeeper should ensure the vaccination of all eligible members of 11.5 million families by December 31. PDS shopkeepers should paste the necessary information regarding vaccination at all their shops. The Patrata (eligibility) slips have the names of all the members of the family. The shopkeepers should ensure that all the eligible beneficiaries have been vaccinated,” said the order.

“If they are not vaccinated, the shopkeeper has to ensure counselling sessions at nearby health facilities. The shopkeepers should also provide a list of non-vaccinated and those beneficiaries, who have taken only the first dose, to a nearby hospital every week,” said the order.

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According to the state health department, about 90.18 % residents of the state received the first dose while 50.1% are fully vaccinated till Tuesday. The total eligible population in the state for vaccination is 54 million.

Food and civil supplies department principal secretary Faiz Ahmed Kidwai said: “We will review the situation on December 31. The basic objective of the no-vaccination-no-ration drive is to motivate people for vaccination against Covid-19,” Kidwai added.

December 31 is the Indian government’s deadline for completely vaccinating all 940 million adults in the country. Thus far, vaccine coverage has crossed 80% (at least one dose), a level at which experts expect vaccne hesitancy to kick in. Measures such as linking Covid-vaccination certificates to government benefits will likely be needed to persuade more people to get vaccinated.

A senior IAS officer, on condition of anonymity, said, “In a review meeting for vaccination of Covid 19 (held in the first week of November), it was decided to ensure vaccination of beneficiaries of all government schemes and government employees by December 31. The department has decided to release an order of no vaccination, no benefits. The order of the civil supplies department is a part of it.”

The opposition Congress targeted the state government over the order and termed it as “threatening”.

MP Congress committee spokesperson JP Dhanopia said, “The MP government failed to win the trust of people to complete the vaccination so the department officers have been asked to threaten beneficiaries. How can they stop the benefits of the scheme for vaccination which is completely a personal choice?”

This order only exposes the failure of the government to motivate people for vaccination, he added

However, state medical education minister Vishwas Sarang said, “We have decided that all the departments of the state government will motivate people for 100% vaccination. The government’s objective is not to stop the benefits but to ensure vaccination for the safety of people.”

The Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday announced that it would achieve 100% vaccination against Covid-19 by December 25.

Meanwhile, in a review meeting of Covid 19 on Wednesday held with health department officers, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the end of all the restrictions invoked to contain the virus as the number of active cases are now less than 100 in MP, but he requested people to continue to use masks, said Sarang.

On Wednesday, the state recorded five new Covid case and the number of total active Covid cases stood at 78.

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