A deadly second wave and vaccine shortage in Arunachal

Arunachal Pradesh has been hit hard by the second wave of Covid-19.

The second wave hit the state in late April and since then Arunachal has registered a staggering 51 deaths within weeks. The first deaths were reported on 25 April, taking the total to 107 deaths in total since the virus hit the state in April 2020.

Though the official death figure is 107, some are likely not recorded because there is no way of knowing unless one is tested.

The worrying part is that the virus has reached remote districts, which have no medical facilities.

Cases have been reported from parts of Siang Valley, Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi, Shi Yomi, Dibang Valley and Anjaw, which have almost non-existent medical facilities.

With the health facilities overwhelmed including the DCH at Chimpu run by the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences where serious patients are treated, it is just a matter of time that the number of casualties will increase.

Is the state government prepared to ramp up testing and vaccinate all? Unlikely.

As of Tuesday, the state had exhausted vaccines and is awaiting the arrival of vaccines, which have been ordered. Though the health department has said that the vaccines will reach the state soon, it is not known when it will arrive.

The Modi government botched up the vaccination process by controlling procurement and supply, forcing states to look for vaccination.

Like many states, Arunachal too was left without vaccination as it relied on the centre.

It remains to be seen how the state will mitigate the vaccine shortage.