Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide at least 30 lakh coronavirus vaccines as the stock available with the state will run out in the next two days, reported PTI on Friday.
In a letter to Modi after the Covid-19 review meeting on Thursday, Gehlot said that Rajasthan has administered 86,89,770 doses between January 16 and April 7. Gehlot urged the Centre to provide more doses of the vaccine immediately so that “the momentum that we have built up can be maintained and maximum eligible beneficiaries can be vaccinated at the earliest”.
The chief minister also assured Modi that the state government will leave no “stone unturned” to control the coronavirus outbreak. “We have already planned to increase the pace of vaccination to five lakh beneficiaries per day through a collaborative approach and effective mobilisation of beneficiaries,” Gehlot said in the letter.
Besides Rajasthan, at least six other states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana – are experiencing a coronavirus vaccine shortage. Most of these states have already apprised the Centre of the situation.
On Thursday, the Maharashtra government warned that it may be forced to halt vaccination for four to five days next week, if stocks are not replenished urgently. On Friday, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said that several vaccination centres in the city had to turn people away as authorities ran out of supplies. Other districts such as Satara, Sangli and Pavel in the state also complained of having to close inoculation centres due to a lack of supplies.
The Odisha government this week said it was forced to shut down 700 of its vaccination centres due to a scarcity of coronavirus vaccines.
However, on Thursday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan claimed that there was no shortage of vaccines in the country. He dismissed the concerns by several states, calling it “fear mongering”, and said that more than 4.3 crore shots were in stock.
The concerns of vaccine shortage have been raised as India grapples with the second, and potentially more dangerous, wave of coronavirus. India on Friday registered yet another record surge in coronavirus infections after 1,31,968 new cases were reported in 24 hours. The country’s overall infection count rose to 1,30,60,542 since March 2020. Deaths went up by 780, driving the toll in India to 1,67,642 since March last year. The active caseload stood at 9,79,608.