The government on Thursday (April 1) said that COVID vaccination will continue throughout the month, holidays included. The decision came on a day when COVID cases continued to surge across the country.
Eight states — Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh — showed a spike in their daily tally, accounting for 84.61% of the news cases recorded in the last 24 hours, Health Ministry said on April 1.
Authorities in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar have imposed a lockdown in the district from midnight of March 31. The government has warned of another shutdown if there is no respite from this second wave. Several other districts of Maharashtra have been put under night curfew.
India recorded 72,330 new COVID cases on Thursday, the highest single-day spike since October 11 last year. Maharashtra is the worst-hit, reporting 39,544 new cases on Wednesday evening.
A government press release said all states and UTs have been told to make arrangements for the inoculation drive throughout April. “This step has been taken after detailed deliberations with the states and UTs on March 31 to optimally utilise all COVID-19 Vaccination Centres across the public and private sectors to ensure rapid increase in the pace and coverage of COVID vaccination,” the ministry said. The vaccination exercise continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, it said.
Beginning April 1, the government has decided to vaccinate all people above 45 years of age as recommended by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration.
A nationwide inoculation drive began on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated first. Vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2.
The next phase of vaccination commenced on March 1 to cover people above 60 and those in the age group of 45-59 but with specified comorbid conditions.
More than 6.5 crore vaccine doses have been administered through 10,86,241 sessions across the country so far, as per the provisional report, said the ministry.