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Fight Against COVID-19 Not Centre Vs State Issue, We Should Not Politicise It: Delhi Minister



Satyendar Jain said the vaccination drive is going well in the city. (File)

New Delhi:

The fight against coronavirus is not a Centre versus state issue and it should not be politicised, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain Thursday, a day after the Union government flagged below-par inoculation of eligible beneficiaries in New Delhi and in some other states.

The Centre had Wednesday written to Delhi, Maharashtra and Punjab rejecting as baseless allegations of shortage of the injection by Maharashtra and some other non-BJP ruled states.

Interacting with reporters, Mr Jain said the vaccination drive is going well in the city.

“I would say our common fight is against the coronavirus pandemic, and it is not a state vs Centre thing. So, we should not politicise the issue, and fight it together,” he added.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had Wednesday alleged some states were trying to cover their “failures” by demanding vaccination for all without first inoculating enough of the eligible beneficiaries.

On a query on the vaccination drive in Delhi, Mr Jain said Thursday, “The vaccination drive is going well in Delhi, we have received some vials yesterday. The vaccination stock is available for 4-5 days with us. We will be receiving it continuously as per our demand.”

As India registered a record single-day spike of over 1.26 lakh COVID-19 cases, Mr Jain said, “Yesterday, India reported over 1,25,000 cases, as opposed to the earlier peaks in which the highest count was lodged at 99,000. This means that this peak is more infectious, and the number of cases is higher than the previous ones.”

He said the Kejriwal government has also appealed to the Centre to allow it to set up vaccination camps in communities for a mass inoculation drive.

India registered a record single-day spike of 1,26,789 new COVID-19 cases, pushing its infection tally to 1,29,28,574, while the number of active cases too went upwards to breach the nine lakh-mark again, Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday showed.

The death count due to the disease in the country increased to 1,66,862, with 685 new fatalities being reported in a day, according to the data updated in the morning.

Registering a steady increase for the 29th day in row, the count of active cases has gone up to 9,10,319, which is 7.04 per cent of the total infections, while the country’s recovery rate has dropped to 91.67 per cent, it stated.

Delhi reported 5,506 positive cases on Wednesday and the positivity rate was above 6 per cent, and 90,000 covid tests were conducted, he added.

The number of fatalities reported was 20 on Wednesday, and the case fatality ratio stood at 0.4 per cent. When the last peak was reported in Delhi in November, the case fatality rate was 2-3 per cent, the minister said.

“This time, the coronavirus is spreading exponentially but the severity of the virus is less, and so are the fatalities. Also, younger population is getting more infected,” Mr Jain added.

“The positivity rate in Delhi is a little above 6 per cent, while in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, it has been around 25 per cent and 18 per cent respectively. In many other states, the positivity rate is above 10 per cent,” Mr Jain told reporters.

Mr Jain said that the Kejriwal government has made two more requests to the Centre: vaccination should be allowed for everyone, at least adults; and to allow setting up of vaccination camps in community areas, unlike the existing model of jabs being given at healthcare facilities only.

On a question on number of healthcare workers being inoculated here, he said that suggestions are being made about “lower number” in that category of beneficiaries, but, the “number is low at Centre-run facilities, and higher at Delhi government hospitals”.

Meanwhile, authorities in North West District on Wednesday issued an order, asking to do “RT-PCR/RAT tests on all persons visiting the dispensaries for their ailments or vaccination with immediate effect”.

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