Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday said there was no shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, contradicting Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh authorities who said they would run out of shots soon unless urgent measures are taken.
The Centre will not allow any state to face vaccine scarcity, Vardhan told Aaj Tak news channel.
The statement came hours after Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the state has 14 lakh vaccine doses, which will last only three days; and a top health official in Andhra Pradesh said the state has only 3.7 lakh doses available, while it needs 1.3 lakh doses a day.
“We do not have enough vaccine doses at various vaccination centres, and people have to be sent back due to a shortage of doses,” Tope said. “I’m not saying that the Centre is not giving us vaccines but the speed of delivery of vaccines is slow,” ANI reported the minister as saying.
Tope said he had raised this issue during a meeting with Vardhan on Tuesday.
Vardhan said the state minister’s concerns had been addressed. “No state is facing vaccine scarcity and neither we will allow them to face it. All states are being supplied with Covid-19 vaccine as per their requirements,” Harsh Vardhan said. “This was communicated to all states at the beginning of the meeting on Tuesday. I had assured them that there would be no shortage of vaccines and the supply will continue as per requirement.”
Bengaluru Bans Use of Pools, Gyms in Apartment Buildings
Meanwhile, police in Bengaluru banned the use of swimming pools, gyms, party halls, etc, in apartment buildings within city limits amid a rise in infections.
“In the wake of increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, the chief secretary and chairman, state executive committee, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, has imposed certain reasonable restrictions for public safety and health,” a notice from the police commissioner’s office said.
Bengaluru is among 10 districts with the highest number of new cases.