Centre should procure vaccine through global tender: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Centre should procure vaccine through global tender: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the intervention of the Centre in sourcing the vaccines required by the States through a global tender.

The Chief Minister said, “We cannot proceed with the planned pace of the vaccination due to the scarcity of the vaccine. The state government has called for a global tender for the purchase of vaccines to address this shortage. But inviting tenders by State governments could lead to a sharp rise in the price of vaccines. Therefore, the price of vaccines can be kept low if the central government calls for a global tender to purchase the vaccine that is needed for the country as a whole, taking into account the vaccine demand of each state.

“I have written to the Prime Minister asking him to take the necessary steps for the Central Government to source the vaccines through global tender as soon as possible. We have also demanded that the states should be provided with free vaccines for everyone. I hope appropriate action will be taken by the Prime Minister.”

Meanwhile, Kerala on Monday reported 17,821 new Covid-19 cases from 87,331 sample tests during the last one day with a test positivity rate of 20.41%. At the same time, 196 recent deaths were confirmed as due to Covid taking the death toll in the state to 7,554. There were 36,039 patient recoveries today and presently, there are 2,59,179 persons under treatment for the disease in the state. Among the new active cases, Thiruvananthapuram district has the highest number of 2,570.

“The number of Covid patients is slowly declining in the State. The average test positivity rate for the last three days is 22.6%. The number of active cases in the state has come down by over two lakhs, from 4.7 lakhs to 2.5 lakhs, in the last ten days. We can assume that the lockdown has been successful in containing the spread of the diseases but there has been an increase in the number of patients requiring hospitalisation, up from 9% to 14%. It would still take another 2-3 weeks time for the rush in the hospitals to subside. We will need a similar time frame to bring down the number of deaths also”, the Chief Minister said.

More hospitals under KASP

The Chief Minister said there are 252 private hospitals now providing free treatment to Covid patients under the government’s health security scheme – Karunya Arogya Suraksha Patthadi (KASP). “At the beginning of the second wave, there were only 106 hospitals. So far, an amount of Rs. 122.65 crores have been spent for the treatment of the people through this scheme. It is requested that more hospitals should be part of the scheme and facilities be made available to the people for free treatment. Complaints related to the scheme are being examined by the Grievance Redressal Cell headed by the District Medical Officer.”

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