COVID-19: States told to expedite second dose coverage

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre, in a review of Covid-19 vaccination on Tuesday, told the states that a large number of beneficiaries due for second doses are missing out on them. The states were told to urge them to complete the vaccine schedule.

Nearly 99 crore doses of vaccines have been administered in the country, even though the pace of vaccination in October has come down dramatically after a surge since the last week of August.  In the review meeting, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan underlined that many states have adequate doses to inoculate those awaiting second doses.

“The Centre is in a position to provide additional vaccine doses to the states so that they can complete full vaccinations,” said a statement by the health ministry. “They were also exhorted to improve the momentum and accelerate the drive.”

So far, more than 102 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states through Central supplies and through direct state procurement. Till Tuesday morning, over 10.42 crore balance and unutilised vaccine doses were still available with the states. 

Bhushan, meanwhile, also advised state authorities to identify and prioritise districts with low coverage of vaccination for focused action. This, he said, could be done through mobilisation efforts, addressing local challenges, setting up additional vaccination centres and improving access in rural and remote areas.  

The Union health ministry, from time to time, has been sharing various SOPs over the last one year for international travel and officials said that they are in the process of reviewing the guidelines in consultation with all the stakeholders for updating the guidelines. 

India’s R value below 1 since Sept
Mumbai: India’s R-value, which reflects how rapidly the coronavirus pandemic is spreading, has remained below 1 since September, suggesting that the infection rate is declining, according to a study.           The Reproduction number or R refers to how many people an infected person infects on an average. An R-value below 1 means the disease is spreading slowly. If R is greater than 1, the number of infected people is increasing in each round. The bigger the number than 1, the faster the rate of spreading. According to figures calculated by researchers of the Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the R-value of  top 10 states with most number of active cases was below 1 till October 18.  However, some of the cities continue to show a rising number of active cases. Kolkata and Bengaluru have an R-value of over 1,



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