Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday informed that more than 9.5 million Healthcare workers have been given their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and over 65 lakh of them has been administered their second dose since the vaccination drive commenced on January 16.
Vardhan held a meeting through video conferencing with health ministers of Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana, to review the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination drive and steps to accelerate it. During the meeting, the Union Health Minister said that there was a sudden surge in the COVID-19 cases across the country which increased the pressure on the health infrastructure in the last few weeks.
"Despite the pressure, everyone intensified their efforts to fight the COVID-19," Harsh Vardhan said.
While in the meeting, Harsh Vardhan stressed following the COVID appropriate behaviours and urged the states to strengthen the strategy of test, track and treat.
"India recorded 3,48,412 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. It is also very satisfying that 3,55,338 patients recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours. Gradually, the number of active cases will reduce," he said.
The testing capacity across the country has increased to over 25 lakh and there are 2527 testing labs across the country," the minister said.
Harsh Vardhan also said that the rise in the cases of Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, and Uttrakhand is a matter of concern. He also mentioned that the COVID cases in Punjab are again on rise.
"The positivity rate of Haryana and Bihar has increased. There is a surge in COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir," he pointed out.
"As many as 17,52,35,991 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the country. 95,82,449 healthcare workers have been administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 65,39,376 have been administered the second dose. As many as 30,44,463 beneficiaries aged between 18-44 years have been vaccinated for their first dose since May 1," the Union Health Minister said.
He also urged the states to prioritise the people whose second dose is pending. He also assured that the vaccine production will go upto eight crores till the end of May and upto nine crores till the end of June.
Harsh Vardhan urged the state to minimise vaccine wastage during the meeting.