Modi takes stock of COVID in Maharashtra, TN; Kejriwal complains of vaccine shortage

Uddhav Thackeray has asked for a separate app for vaccine registration while Tamil Nadu CM Stalin drew the Prime Minister’s attention to the state’s oxygen crisis

Uddhav Thackeray is likely to have discussed the burning issue of Maratha reservation with the Prime Minister.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for permission to start a state-centric app for vaccine registration while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said the entire national capital can be vaccinated against COVID-19 in three months if the Centre gives 85 lakh doses a month.

PM Modi reviewed the corona situation in Maharashtra on Saturday (May 8) by making a phone call to Uddhav Thackeray. The Prime Minister also spoke to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to know how the respective states are coping with the pandemic.

Maharashtra, the worst hit by the pandemic, recorded 54,022 new cases and 898 deaths in the last 24 hours. However, the COVID curve has been plateauing here with consistent drop in number of cases across the state.

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The details of the conversation between Thackeray and Modi are yet to come but sources say the two have likely discussed the Chief Minister’s earlier letter to the Prime Minister asking for permission to launch a dedicated app for COVID vaccination in the state. Thackeray cited repeated problems on CoWIN app during registration for introducing a new app.

Thackeray is also likely to have discussed the burning issue of Maratha reservation with the Prime Minister, following the Supreme Court’s recent verdict scrapping reservation in jobs for the community. On the day of the SC verdict, Thackeray said that only the Prime Minister and the President now have the power to declare reservation for the Marathas.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told the Prime Minister that the situation is improving in the state with a constant decline in positivity rate and more than satisfactory patient recovery rate. MP has increased state lockdown to May 15.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said he apprised the PM on how the state is meeting the oxygen requirements of its people.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin too informed the Prime Minister about the oxygen crisis in the state and asked him to intervene. Tamil Nadu on Saturday announced a statewide complete lockdown for two weeks starting from May 10.

Modi has spoken with 10 chief ministers and two Lieutenant Governors in the last three days to review pandemic situation.

Kejriwal’s vaccine calculation

As per Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s calculations, the national capital can be fully vaccinated if the Centre gives his government about 85 lakh doses a month.

Currently, Delhi gets about 1 lakh vaccine doses a day, which needs to be increased to 3 lakh. “Many from Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Sonipat, Gurgaon, Noida are coming to Delhi to get their COVID shots because they like the arrangements here. But we do not have enough vaccines. If we get the right number of doses, we can vaccinate the entire national capital in three months,” Kejriwal said at a press briefing, adding that he has urged the Centre to increase the number of doses for New Delhi.

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How did Kejriwal get the number 85 lakh?

The Chief Minister explained his math: “So far, we have got 40 lakh doses. There are about 1 crore people in the 18-44 age group; a total of 1.5 crore people are above 18 years of age. We need 2.6 crore vaccines in three months. Every month, we need about 80-85 lakh doses.”

Kejriwal said it is absolutely necessary that we speed up vaccination in view of the Centre’s own estimate of a third wave of COVID-19 striking India any time soon. The Centre, however, also said that India can avoid the third wave if concrete steps are taken and implemented thoroughly.

The national capital has earmarked 100 schools to vaccinate people in the 18-44 age group. About 200 more schools will be added soon, the CM said.

In the last 24 hours, Delhi reported 19,832 corona positive cases and 341 deaths.