Vaccination can't be opened for all at present: Health Ministry
New Delhi, April 7, 2021
Amid the continued surge in Covid-19 cases in India again in the past few weeks, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said the vaccination drive against the virus is being carried out on the basis of priority.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press conference on Tuesday that vaccinations cannot be opened for everybody at this moment. "Globally, vaccination drives have a single goal: to curb deaths of the most vulnerable group affected by Covid-19," he added.
He asserted that the health care system and health care workers in the country need to be protected.
"What will happen if maximum numbers of health care workers get affected by Covid-19? Our health care system will collapse. We don't want this situation. And hence, the vaccination cannot be opened for all at present," added the Union Health Secretary.
Bhushan further emphasised that the aim of the vaccination drive is to vaccinate the ones who need it most, rather than the ones who want to get vaccinated.
Talking about Maharashtra, which has become the epicentre of the pandemic, Bhushan said that of all the active cases in the country, 58 per cent are in Maharashtra. As many as 34 per cent of the total deaths have also been reported in the state.
"We have suggested to state governments to increase the percentage of RT-PCR tests, which is reducing in Maharashtra in the last few weeks. Only 60 per cent of total tests were done through the RT-PCR method in Maharashtra last week. We suggest states take it to 70 per cent or above," said Bhushan.
NITI Aayog Member V. K. Paul, who also addressed the media, stated that the next four weeks will be crucial.
"The impact of the pandemic has increased in the country. Warnings were given that the situation should not be taken for granted. The situation of the pandemic has worsened and the speed of increasing Covid-19 cases is higher than the last time," Paul added.