Rolling out its vaccination plan for Covid-19, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Saturday said that over 3.96 lakh doctors and frontline health workers fighting Covid-19 in the state will be given the first shots of vaccine whenever it is made available.
The state reported 1,514 new Covid-19 cases and 15 deaths due to the infection on Saturday.
Stating that a final shape has been given for Covid-19 vaccination drive in Gujarat, Patel said 47,796 vaccination centres and 15,534 teams of vaccinators have been planned for this purpose.
“The first shots of the vaccine will be given to the doctors, nurses and other Class3 and 4 employees of the health department who are directly dealing with Covid cases and patients. First priority will also be given to ASHA workers and anganwadi workers who are doing field duty for Covid in the villages,” Patel said.
There are 2.71 lakh employees of the health department of Gujarat government who are working with civil hospitals, district hospitals and community health centres. Similarly, 1.25 lakh doctors, nurses and para medical staff engaged with private hospitals fighting the pandemic will also be given vaccination in first phase.
“Those engaged indirectly in providing help and support in Covid treatment like police personnel, home guards will be covered in second phase. After that, citizens who are 50 years and above and those who are below the age of 50, but having comorbidities like cancer, kidney disease, heart condition etc will also be given priority,” he added.
“Like polling centres, 47,796 vaccination centres have been almost been finalised… We will be informing the time and place for each person through an SMS,” Patel said adding 15,534 teams of vaccinators have been formed for providing the vaccines.
Patel said the vaccines will be procured by the Government of India and its cost will be discussed with the states.
He further said that no final decision has been made by the state government regarding the cost of the vaccine, but it will be providing vaccines to all its employees engaged in the fight against Covid-19.
For cold chain network needed for the vaccines, Patel said Gujarat has bulk coolers belonging to the health department in Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara and Bhavnagar.
Even the 2,500-odd primary and community health centres in Gujarat have small refrigeration facilities, the deputy chief minister said.
“Apart from this, we will also be getting walk-in coolers for transporting vaccines. The Centre will be giving 169 ice-lined refrigerators and 30 deep freezers,” Patel added.
He said the storage facility is in addition to the nine walk-in coolers, two walk-in freezers, 2,500 refrigerators and coolers that Gujarat has and can store vaccines at 2-8 degree Celsius. The state also has 2,469 deep freezers which can maintain temperatures ranging from -15 degree to -25 degree Celsius.
“Till the time vaccines do not come, social distancing and masks have to be maintained and used,” he added.
Patel said about 100 people in the state have volunteered for vaccine human trials and no adverse effects have been seen on them so far.
Over 150 cops test positive
More than 150 police personnel tested Covid-19 positive as of Friday, as Ahmedabad city police conducted a targeted testing drive for nearly 14,000 personnel.
Joint commissioner of police (admin) with Ahmedabad city police Sanjay Chaudhary said that the drive started December 1 and until Friday, approximately 150 have tested positive. “Each day, approximately 1,000-1,100 tests are conducted across 16 urban health centres which have been arranged by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for testing police personnel…Most of those who tested positive are in home isolation, three have been hospitalised and are stable,” said Chaudhary.
Ahmedabad city, despite reporting around 300 cases Saturday, added only three micro containment zones.
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