April 26, 2021 5:52:57 am
The Gujarat government Sunday announced it will provide free of cost Covid-19 vaccines to beneficiaries between 18 and 45 years of age from May 1. The decision was taken during a core-committee meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, as the state clocked it highest single-day spike of 14,296 fresh cases, taking the infection tally to 4,95,287.
The toll due to the virus reached 6,341 as Gujarat added 157 fatalities on the day. Veteran journalist Yogesh Sharma (64), who worked with The Indian Express in Gujarat for more than a decade, succumbed Sunday after battling with the infection for nearly a week. Sharma had joined the newspaper in 1981 and was its chief reporter before he went on to launch a Hindi weekly ‘Chaupal’.
The state government, meanwhile, said it will procure one crore doses of Covishield vaccine from Pune’s Serum Institute of India and 50 lakh doses of Covaxin from the Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad for the drive to cover beneficiaries between the age group of 18-45 that will begin from May 1. The CM has also directed the core committee to make arrangements for vaccinating all eligible persons in the age group by extending the campaign to the district and taluka level. The beneficiaries, officials said, will be able to register for vaccination on the CoWin portal from April 28.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Chief Secretary Anil Mukim, Additional Chief Secretary to CM Manoj Kumar Das, Principal Secretary Health Jayanti Ravi, Secretary to CM Ashwini Kumar.
In Gujarat, around 6,000 government and private centres have been created to vaccinate healthcare and frontline workers and citizens above 45 years. So far, 1.13 crore doses have been administered.
In a fresh order, Gujarat Health Commissioner Jai Prakash Shivahare also directed bonded doctors of Government Medical Colleges and GMERS medical colleges to report for Covid-related duties on Monday. Over 650 candidates of state government medical colleges, and 593 from GMERS medical colleges in the state have been directed to appear for appointment as medical officer (class-2 grade) under this order.
The order, issued by the health commissioner, states there was a shortage of manpower for treating Covid-19 patients and there was an urgent need for doctors in cases of emergency. If the bonded doctors do not appear for Covid duty at their place of appointment by April 26, the order allows district collectors and municipal commissioners to initiate action under the provisions of the Epidemic Act.
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