GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat government told the Legislative Assembly here on Tuesday that some 8.33 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines could not be used in the state since the inoculation drive began.
The information was given by health minister Rishikesh Patel in a written reply to a question by Congress MLA from Una, Punja Vansh.
A vial of vaccine which contains ten doses has to be used within four hours once opened, the minister said.
“So if people do not come for vaccination within that period, a vial has to be discarded after four hours (with some doses unused),” he said, adding that this was the main reason for the wastage.
Patel on Tuesday told the state Assembly here that committees will be formed at the district level to pay compensation of Rs 50,000 to the next of kin of those who died due to COVID-19.
The opposition Congress had raised the issue of deaths caused by the pandemic in the state, after which the minister came out with the statement.
The Congress had claimed that over three lakh people died due to the pandemic in Gujarat, while the official figure, given by Patel, is 10,082.
“As per a letter of the central home ministry, the state government has decided to give Rs 50,000 as financial assistance to the relatives of those who died due to COVID-19.”
“The state government will give this compensation as per the guidelines of the centre. Committees will be formed at the district level to distribute the compensation,” the health minister told the House.
The death rate due to COVID-19 in India was lower in comparison to other countries, while in Gujarat it was lower in comparison to other states due to effective management of the pandemic, Patel said.
Congress members rushed into the well of the house on the issue of the BJP government’s handling of the pandemic, and were suspended for a brief period.
The opposition party earlier in the day released a press note saying that in reply to questions asked by its members in the Assembly, the state government stated that only 3,864 people have died due to the pandemic in Gujarat.
But the health minister, in a statement, said Congress members had not asked for information about the deaths in municipal corporation areas.
“The death toll due to coronavirus stands at 10,082 in the state,” he said.
The state on Tuesday reported 24 new coronavirus positive cases, taking the count of infections to 8,25,896, the health department said.
No new COVID-19 death was reported on Tuesday as well, it said.
The death toll remains unchanged at 10,082 in Gujarat since September 4.
With 18 patients getting discharged during the day, the tally of recovered cases in Gujarat rose to 8,15,666, it said.
Gujarat is now left with 148 active cases.
A total of 3,15,813 people were inoculated on Tuesday, taking the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far in Gujarat to 6,03,36,757, the department said.
At 10, Surat district reported the highest number of new cases during the day in Gujarat, followed by four cases in Valsad, three in Ahmedabad, two each in Navsari and Vadodara.
Gandhinagar and Jamnagar reported one case each during the day, it said.
Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu didn’t have any active COVID-19 case, officials said.
Gujarat’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 8,25,896, new cases 24, death toll 10,082, discharged 8,15,666, active cases 148, people tested so far – figures not released.