The government has asked states to speed up vaccinations for healthcare and frontline workers. From March 1, India will start vaccinating people above 60 and those older than 45 with health conditions free of charge in about 10,000 government hospitals and for a fee in more than 20,000 private facilities, the government said.
Nearly a month after the health minister declared that COVID-19 had been contained, states such as Maharashtra and Kerala have reported a spike in cases amid growing reluctance to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
India’s infections are the second highest in the world at 11.03 million, swelled by a further 13,742 in the past 24 hours, health ministry data showed. Deaths rose by a two-week high of 104 to 156,567.
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A signed medical certificate – attesting to the severity of the illness – will be required of people who are over 45 and looking to get Covid vaccination in the second phase, sources said Wednesday night. Earlier in the day Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the second phase of vaccination would begin March 1, with priority for those over 60 and those over 45 with co-morbidities. He said around 27 crore people would be vaccinated in this stage, of whom around 10 crore are over 60. Read Here
The second phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive will begin March 1, with priority given to people over 60 and those over 45 with co-morbidities, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said Wednesday afternoon, adding that details of what counted as a comorbidity will be released by the Health Ministry.
The shots will be given at 10,000 government-run centres (where it will be free of cost) and 20,000 private centres. Charges for vaccination at privately-run centres will be confirmed in a few days.
“From March 1, people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres. The vaccine will be given free of cost at government centres,” Mr Javadekar said.
The government today sent high-level teams to 10 states and Union Territories that have seen a surge in Covid cases, warning that slacking off on rules and measures to check infection will escalate the crisis, given the emergence of new virus strains.
The Health Secretary has also written to seven states and Union Territories on the recent spurt in virus cases and has advised specific steps.
Three-member multi-disciplinary teams have been sent to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir.