The Gujarat government has extended the deadline given to business establishments to administer Covid-19 vaccination to their staff by 10 days to July 10.
The government had on June 25 made it mandatory for “managers, owners and staff of business/professional establishments” to be vaccinated by June 30 in 18 cities and towns that are under night curfew.
An order issued by the home department stated that the decision was taken at a core committee meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday. The June 25 order stated that the units would face closure if the staff were not vaccinated by June 30.
On Wednesday, The Indian Express had reported how only 20 per cent of the work force registered under the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) had got vaccinated. Traders in Vadodara and Surat had also urged the government to extend the deadline.
Speaking to media persons on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel admitted to a short supply of vaccine doses. “The Gujarat government is conducting an aggressive vaccination drive, administering approximately three to four lakh vaccine doses each day… there is an increasing awareness among citizens and we stopped the requirement of online registration, urging people to come for the vaccine as per their convenience.”
“We send a fixed number of doses per vaccination site, so if a vaccination site has a capacity of 200 doses and a lot of people come suddenly, it becomes difficult. We have the capacity to administer up to five lakh doses but the stock we are receiving daily from the Central government is around 3.5-4 lakh doses on an average..,” Patel added
Gujarat on Tuesday administered 2.84 lakh doses, which a steep decline from the over 5.20 lakh doses administered on June 21, when the mandatory online registration for the 18-44 age group was done away with. The state added 90 new cases of Covid-19 and three deaths on Wednesday.
A state bulletin said, “Owing to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s leadership, the state health department with an aim to rapidly administer the vaccine, has adminstered 2.56,77,991 doses.”
Patel who also holds the health portfolio could not be reached for comment.
According to PTI, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on June 20 said it had set a target of vaccinating one lakh people per day, after the state government launched spot registration. However, from June 21 to 29, it failed to even cross 50,000 doses, officials said.
PTI reported AMC’s medical officer Bhavin Solanki attributing this to a short supply of vaccines, with the official saying, “We are getting less supply of vaccines, but we are vaccinating people depending on the supply, which varies every day. Like yesterday, we received 35,000 doses. Some days we receive 20,000 doses, or even 13,000 doses.”
As per PTI, a similar situation was witnessed at some centres in Rajkot and several centres in Sabarkantha put up boards saying no vaccination will be carried out until they receive supply of vaccines.
(With PTI inputs)