CM seeks enhancement of state’s Covid vaccine quota

ITANAGAR, 13 Jul: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday requested the central government to enhance the state’s quota of Covid-19 vaccine “as the state is yet to vaccinate at par with its per day capacity.”

Participating in a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief ministers of the northeastern states, Khandu said that, while the state’s capacity is to vaccinate 15,000 people per day, at present it is vaccinating only 10,000 per day.

He added that the percentage of vaccine wastage in Arunachal is nil.

“As we have been optimally utilizing our quota of vaccines with zero wastage, and our capacity is to vaccinate 5,000 more people per day, our quota may be increased from the present,” he requested union Health Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya.

On the vaccination drive being carried out in the state, Khandu said that health workers, especially in the rural areas, supported by the administrations, are doing a commendable job. He informed that many vaccination teams had to travel on foot in difficult terrains and weather conditions to vaccinate people in far-flung areas.

The CM said that the task at hand is not easy or smooth during the monsoons.

“Roads are blocked, bridges have collapsed. Yes, connectivity is a major challenge and our people are living up to it,” Khandu said.

He said that internet connectivity is another big challenge, especially in the interior areas of the state.

“Poor internet connectivity in rural districts is affecting uploading of data and report to the centralized ICMR portal on a daily basis. On average, our data is uploaded after four days, and this has resulted in wrong conclusions by the ICMR. As per the ICMR portal, Arunachal’s positivity rate today is 16.2 percent. But our data – the average of the last one week – shows this at 8 percent,” he said.

Thanking the Centre for its well-planned interventions at the right times, Khandu said that Arunachal did not have a single oxygen bed when the Corona outbreak began, but today the state has about 1,000 oxygen beds ready.

“We have enough oxygen beds. Fortunately, the bed occupancy rate is only 8 percent as of now. Thanks to PM Cares and the UNDP, we have enough oxygen plants, cylinders, ventilators, etc,” he informed.

Acknowledging the Centre’s concern over the increasing Covid cases in the Northeast, Khandu said that very soon he will be convening a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA). He said the deputy commissioners have been empowered to decide on the actions to be taken on their own, as per the situation in their respective districts.

He, however, said that, as it has not controlled the spread of the virus, the SDMA will have to intervene and decide on further course of action.

Khandu expressed optimism that the connectivity issue, along with others, such as shortage of ambulance, testing kits, upgrading of rural health infrastructure, etc, would be taken care of under the Centre’s latest package of Rs 23,000 crores.

The virtual meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and MoS PMO Dr Jitendra Singh. (CM’s PR Cell)