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Allow Covid vaccine for all, Arvind Kejriwal appeals to Centre

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that if relaxations are made, the whole of Delhi could be vaccinated within three months.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 19, 2021 12:56:41 am
Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation, AAP Gujarat, AAP news, election commission, Gujarat news, Ahmedabad news, indian expressDelhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal (PTI)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday appealed to the Centre to open vaccination for everyone and that all centres be allowed to take walk-in volunteers. He said that if relaxations are made, the whole of Delhi could be vaccinated within three months.

“We should now open the vaccination centres and allow the vaccine for all. Vaccination centres should be turned into walk-in vaccination centres. If the central government allows vaccination for all, and if we get a sufficient supply of the vaccine that is to be administered, we have formulated a plan to administer the vaccine to the entire Delhi in the next three months. I want to appeal to the central government to decentralise the system, have less control over it, and allow the state governments to administer the vaccine on a war-footing,” he said during an online address.

The CM met health department officials Thursday to assess the sudden increase in cases in Delhi. The city has seen a slow increase over the past two weeks. While two weeks ago, the city was seeing an average of around 150 cases a day, the number has increased considerably and 607 cases were reported on Thursday. The increase, however, is not as sharp as it is in states like Maharashtra and Punjab.

Requesting a simpler vaccination process, Kejriwal said, “I also appeal to the Centre to provide some relaxation in the vaccination guidelines since it is coming as a barrier in the efficient functioning of vaccination centres. We now have two months’ worth of experience in the process… We assure them that we will be careful, but if the central government agrees to provide certain relaxations, it will help us in opening new centres. Many of the existing centres are functioning for 24 hours, we will instruct more centres to function for 24 hours,” he said.

Kejriwal also said the Centre should come out with a category of ineligible persons instead of those who are eligible: “The current guidelines are very rigid. Our country is now doing well in terms of production of the vaccine. Therefore, rather than creating a list that mentions the eligibility, age groups with co-morbidities, etc, we should create a list that is ineligible, for instance, people below 18…”

Out of the close to 29 lakh people who are eligible to get vaccinated at present (health care and frontline workers, those above the age of 60, and those above 45 years who have specified co-morbid conditions), 7,14,568 have been administered the first dose.

Several vaccination slots are also going vacant in the city each day. On March 15, for example, 15,917 people (72%) turned up against 22,100 slots in private facilities. In government facilities, 13,252 (64%) turned up for 15,917 available slots.

Shots to go up to 1.25 lakh a day, centres to stay open for 12 hrs

The city, meanwhile, is also planning to treble the number of vaccine slots per day.

Kejriwal said the number of jabs will increase from 30,000 – 40000 per day to 1.25 lakh per day. In an order, the government directed all Delhi government hospitals to increase the number of vaccination sites to six. It also ordered each hospital to “depute two vaccinators each” at the additional vaccination site “to increase total slots for vaccination at each site to 200”.

Vaccination centres will increase to 1,000 in the coming days, the CM said. Orders have also been issued to extend the time for vaccination from the present 9 am-5 pm to 9 am-9 pm.

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