July 9, 2021 10:24:54 pm
Punjab on Friday ran out of Covishield, on a day the state government lifted the weekend and night curfews and allowed reopening of colleges, cinema halls, restaurants, bars and gyms to those who have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
The state, however, received a fresh stock of 1 lakh Covaxin doses even as Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh reiterated the need for enhanced supplies from the Centre.
“With the state running out of Covishield & left with only one day’s stock of Covaxin, CM @Capt_Amarinder Singh again stressed the need for increase in vaccine supplies from Centre,” the CM’s Office tweeted.
The state health facilities has run out of Covishield as there has been no fresh supply of this vaccine for the past three days. It was July 6 that Punjab had received 2.04 lakh doses of Covishield along with 13,000 of Covaxin. Vikas Garg, nodal officer, vaccines, said that a fresh supply of Covaxin was received Friday but there is no update from the Centre on expected supply of Covishield.
“We have no previous stock left due to the mega vaccination drive held on July 3,” he said.
On July 1, the state had received a bulk supply of 6.84 lakh doses of Covishield and 61,000 of Covaxin. During the mega vaccination drive on July 3, more than 6 lakh doses were administered.
Meanwhile, during a Covid review meet, the CM directed officials to continue pursuing aggressively with the Centre enhancing the state’s quota of vaccine. Increase in vaccine supplies was critical given the gradual opening of sectors conditional to stakeholders having taken at least one dose, the CM said.
Pointing out that Punjab had already vaccinated nearly 83 lakh eligible persons (approximately 27 per cent of population), the CM said that the stock was being utilised in the state without any wastage. While the 1st dose has been administered to 70 lakh people, 13 lakh people have received the second dose, he added.
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said that the administration was following up with the Government of India for more doses.
Step up whole genome sequencing
The CM also asked the concerned departments to step up Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to expeditiously identify cases of new Covid variant and to fast track the project for execution of the MoU with ICMR for Regional Institute of Virology at Mohali.
Though no fresh cases of Delta Plus variant had been identified in the state, the CM directed that the WGS Lab at GMCH Patiala, coming up with the support of PATH, must become functional this month. PATH has informed that the machine is likely to be installed by July 25, as per a government statement.
The CM noted that the state was also starting dry swab testing, with a pilot at GMC Patiala next week. Sensitivity of the dry swab variant method is 79% and specificity is 99% when compared with standard RTPCR test as the gold standard. Considering its lesser cost and quick turn-around, the dry swab variant method can be used as a screening tool only in settings where automated RNA extraction is not available.
As per GoI guidelines, Punjab has identified 10 sentinel sites and sending at least 15 samples per site every 15 days for whole genome sequencing. Positive samples of post vaccination, re-infection cases, death cases, severe cases, clustering etc. are being sent for WGS, the meeting was informed.
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