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UP orders 10 mn more doses, aims at vaccinating 6.5L every day

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The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday said it has placed orders for 10 million doses of both Covishield and Covaxin for the next phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive that will cover all persons aged 18 and more, in addition to what the Centre provides. The state said it is also in talks with the makers of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V.

First, to announce free vaccination for all persons above 18 years of age, Uttar Pradesh aims to vaccinate about 650,000 people every day from May 1.

Government spokesperson and MSME minister Sidharth Nath Singh told ET, “We have placed the orders and are waiting for them to confirm a delivery schedule, post which we will roll out the programme for 18 years and above.”

Singh said the state government will firm up a date for the start of vaccinations for those 18 and above only after getting the delivery schedule, as it does not want to hamper the ongoing vaccination drive for those aged above 45 years.

The government will roll out free vaccinations for those 18 and above across its 8,000 community health centres (CHCs). Singh said the state government is also in talks with makers of Sputnik V–which is being manufactured in India by Dr Reddy’s Labs. However, that is not expected until May end or June, as the company has claimed.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said the fresh drive will prove decisive in the state’s battle against the pandemic. The state has so far administered 11.7 m doses of vaccines to people, including both first and second doses. The state plans to double its testing capacity by May 10.

Adityanath spoke of these steps a Niti Aayog presentation had projected a daily rise of 1.19 lakh cases in UP by end of April, outnumbering Maharashtra.

At the same time, the government is ramping up number of beds. It has added more than 14,000 beds in the last 3-4 days. Besides, the hospitals being constructed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in Lucknow and Varanasi will be functional soon.The CM also said on Sunday that no poor patient should be turned away by a hospital on the pretext that he cannot pay. He said if government hospitals do not have capacity, then private hospitals should admit such patients and they will be compensated by the state according to the rate decided by the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

No of Daily Cases Dip

The chief minister on Sunday expressed satisfaction as the number of daily cases dipped to 35,614, from 38,055 on Saturday.

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