COVID-19 vaccine shortage in Delhi, 500 vaccination centres closed: Minister

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People who came to get inoculated return following non-availability of vaccines in New Delhi, on July 13, 2021.
Image Credit: AP

New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the Aam Aadmi Party government has the capacity to vaccinate all the eligible population but enough vaccines are not being made available to them. Nearly 500 vaccination centres in Delhi have closed due to lack of vaccines.

Jain said: “The Delhi government cannot follow Haryana’s vaccination policy of saving as much vaccines as possible with it. Instead we are immediately using whichever vaccines are made available to us by the Central government.”

“At present, we have to assume that the wave of COVID-19 pandemic may resurface. Therefore, I appeal to the people of Delhi to step out of their houses wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing norms,” he added.

The Minister on Monday said only 45 Covid-19 cases were reported in the national capital, which is the lowest in the last year-and-a-half. The infection rate in Delhi is less than 0.1 per cent. There are 693 active cases of COVID-19 in Delhi. “Still I would request the people of Delhi to take due safety measures and leave their house wearing a mask and following social distancing.”

The AAP leader said there is a shortage of vaccines in Delhi. “On Monday nearly 1.5 lakh Covishield vaccines arrived in the national capital and now we have nearly 168,000 vaccines, which will be sufficient till Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. After this there will be a shortage of vaccines in Delhi again.”

“Due to lack of availability of vaccines, nearly 500 vaccination centres have been closed in Delhi, but as soon as the vaccines are available we will open all vaccination centres again. We (Delhi government) have already said that we have the capacity to vaccinate all people for which we require three to four lakh [300,000 to 400,000] vaccines daily,” Satyendar Jain added.

Asked to vaccinate the whole of Delhi within three months, Satyendar Jain said, “If we receive the COVID-19 vaccines we are ready to carry out large number of jabs. Due to lack of vaccines we have to close our vaccination centres repeatedly. We cannot follow Haryana’s vaccination policy to save as many number of vaccines as possible. Whatever vaccines we are receiving from the Central government, we are using them immediately.”

Jain said, “It is very important for everyone to receive the vaccine jabs to save themselves from COVI-19. That is why we have made all preparations to vaccinate every individual. As soon as we receive the vaccines, we will get people inoculated as soon as possible.”

Regarding the possible third wave of COVID-19 infection, Satyendar Jain said, “I believe that the possible third wave of Covid-19 can be stopped, but it is possible only when everybody follows Covid-appropriate guidelines. What happened last time? In January and February 2021, the number of COVID-19 cases had drastically come down. At that time, the people thought that now the infection is over. But afterwards the infected cases reported a spike. So we should not assume that Covid-19 is over yet. Right now we have to remember that a new wave of COVID-19 can resurface. As long as the coronavirus is active, it can spread. Therefore, the only way to prevent Covid-19 is that every person must wear a face mask. If you step out of home and meet other people, one must wear a mask.”

He added, “Even when COVID-19 was at its peak, there were nearly 25 per cent patients from outside the national capital undergoing treatment in Delhi hospitals. Each person was provided free treatment at Delhi government hospitals. Even today, 10 to 15 patients are admitted in Delhi government hospitals every day, of which 25 to 30 per cent patients reside outside Delhi. We haven’t denied treatment to any person.”

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