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Maharashtra seeks 90 lakh vaccine doses from Centre; Uddhav skips meeting citing health

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, however, skipped the meeting called by the PM citing health reasons.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: January 14, 2022 7:22:38 am
BMC health workers collect swab samples of outstation passengers at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)

The Maharashtra government on Thursday demanded 40 lakh Covaxin and 50 lakh Covishield doses from the Centre to increase the vaccination coverage in the state during a meeting of the chief ministers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the prevailing Covid-19 situation.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, however, skipped the meeting called by the PM citing health reasons. Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope instead attended the meeting but was not allowed to speak.

“We demanded the 40 lakh doses of Covaxin and 50 lakh doses of Covishield. Covaxin is required for the vaccination for the 15-18 age group and Covishield for people over 60 years of age and the frontline workers,” Tope told mediapersons after the meeting.

On Thackeray skipping the meeting, Tope said, “According to the doctors, sitting in one place for two-and-a-half hours due to post-surgical treatment is not suitable for the CM’s health. That is why he chose not to attend today’s meeting and deputed me instead.”

The minister further said that the state, through a written submission, urged the Centre to come up with mandatory measures to tackle the issue of vaccine hesitancy among people. It also sought clarity on the treatment protocol, said Tope, adding that while every state is imposing certain restrictions, the Centre should issue a standard operating procedure.

Tope said that the issue of people using home kits and rapid antigen tests (RAT) to get tested for Covid-19 was raised with the Centre.

“Many people are using home kits and RATs to get tested… but the positive cases are not being reported… The state has instructed pharma companies and shops to keep records of those purchasing such kits so that they can be tracked.”

The minister added that the government also brought to the notice of the Centre that Delta variant of Covid-19 was still dominant in the state. “Of the 4,000 samples that went for genome sequencing in our state, we found 1,300 samples are infected with Omicron and 2,700 with Delta. This means that Delta is still dominant in Maharashtra,” he added.

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