The Rajasthan government on Saturday suspended all outreach activities related to immunisation in the state due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread.

The order, issued by the mission director of National Health Mission of Rajasthan, directed health departments that no social mobilisation should be done for vaccination and neither should any beneficiary be called for vaccination. It, however, said all medical institutes where deliveries are being conducted or have cold chain points to ensure storage of vaccines to administer birth doses to newborns before discharging them by following the social distancing protocols.

The government also allowed those who come to the medical institutions for immunisation to get the services.

The Rajasthan Jan Swasthya Abhiyan wrote to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, acknowledging that it was necessary to contain the spread of Covid-19. However, they added that this would have an adverse effect. The JSA, which functions as a statewide network of organisations working on health rights, said Maternal Child Health and Nutrition day is celebrated in every village for immunisation of newly born, adding that essential services like providing iron folic acid tablets is necessary.

They demanded that since mobilisation activities cannot be carried out in the villages at this point owing to risks related coronavirus transmission, the government must undertake door-to-door immunisation services. “It will have adverse effects on maternal and child health,” they said.

There have been 918 cases of coronavirus in the country so far. Of these, 819 are undergoing treatment.