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Delhi government eyes Sputnik to boost capital’s vaccine stock

The government, which had passed orders to buy 1.34 crore Covaxin and Covisheild doses for those in the 18-44 age group, has been facing shortage with 100 session sites being shut because of Covaxin shortage earlier this week.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 16, 2021 12:40:27 am
Vials of Sputnik V (File photo)

The Delhi government has written to Dr Reddy’s asking them how many vaccines they could provide to the capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Saturday.

The government, which had passed orders to buy 1.34 crore Covaxin and Covishield doses for those in the 18-44 age group, has been facing shortage with 100 session sites being shut because of Covaxin shortage earlier this week.

“The vaccination is very important and experiences from the UK and USA tells that if vaccination is carried out on a massive level, the spread of Covid can be curtailed… As I understand, as and when the availability of vaccine increases, the vaccination drive will also catch momentum. We have contacted Dr. Reddy’s for the Sputnik vaccine. We have written to them but have not received a concrete response on how many doses they can provide. We have earlier asked for 67 lakh Covishield and Covaxin doses and have asked Dr Reddy’s if they can provide a similar number of doses,” Kejriwal said.

The government is also preparing a global tender for 1 crore doses. AAP MLA Atishi said Saturday that it has 8 days worth of Covishield vaccines for those in the 18-44 category and 6 days for the 45+, healthcare workers and frontline workers category. The city got 1.73 lakh more doses for the second category Saturday.

Kejriwal, who was visiting the Integrated Command and Control Centre for real-time data on hospitals, ICU beds, availability of oxygen and vaccines, said Covid care centres made at Chhatarpur as well as in banquet halls will not be dismantled this time even if cases start to decrease: “They will not be dismantled, we will strengthen them.”

Many of these centres, which have oxygen beds, were dismantled in February before cases started to peak in Delhi.

The control centre will track oxygen tankers through GPS.

“In this, a variety of Covid-related data from all over Delhi will be collected on a real-time basis. By this, I mean it will capture whatever is happening at this point in time. If we talk about oxygen, then which hospital has how much oxygen, from where the oxygen tankers have left and where have they reached, tracking through GPS. If we are to talk about hospitals, then how many beds are empty in a certain hospital, how many ICU beds are empty, how many oxygen beds are empty. Similarly, how many people have been vaccinated, what age group of people has been vaccinated. So, vaccine-related data, oxygen-related data, hospital-related data, data regarding the number of patients in a particular area, how many of them are active and how many have recovered, the geographical distribution — all this is being captured. This is a good start because if the government takes decisions that are up in air, they are never successful. If the government takes those decisions based on data, then they will be more successful. Those decisions will be more effective and influential,” Kejriwal said.

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