NEW DELHI: The Union Health Ministry wrote to other states on Tuesday, asking them to expedite the vaccination drive and announced it has dispatched teams to states where Covid-19 cases are rising, as alarm grows over what looks like the beginning of India’s second wave of infections. The development now underscores more than ever the need to drastically scale up the vaccination process. Data shows that the seven day average of new cases across India dropped to its lowest on February, when it touched 10,988, but it has shown a sustained increase since then to 18%. This increase is fuelled in particular by Maharashtra, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh where cases have grown 127%, 55% and 54% respectively. The Health Ministry wrote to these states and two more, asking them to speed up vaccinations. Experts say it is now a race against time for India to begin a wave of vaccinations that will beat infections.
To do this, it may need to significantly review its approach, relaxing curbs to allow anyone who wants a dose to take it, let employers purchase in bulk to give it to their staff, and allow more private involvement, including open market sales for India.
Citizens above 60 years will begin their vaccination soon and those above 50 years may have to wait a little longer.
People aged above 60 years and those with other serious illnesses that increase their vulnerability to the corona- virus (comorbidities in medical lingo) will be allowed to self-reg ister and choose where they want to get vaccinated for Covid-19 from March 1, an official familiar with the matter said recently, detailing one part