Will go by scientific advice on vaccine: PM

Wants elaborate cold storage facilities for inoculation | Tells worst-hit states to keep positivity rate below 5%

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 24

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India was keeping a close watch on Covid-19 vaccine developments, which were in final stages, and would follow scientific advice on the matter.

Virtually addressing the Chief Ministers of the eight worst-hit states — Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Delhi, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra — the PM warned against lowering the guard against the virus while planning for the vaccine rollout. He asked them to establish cold storage facilities and set up structures down to the block level to prepare for inoculation drives.

Describing as “worrisome” the recent surge in some states, Modi urged the CMs to keep positivity rate below 5 per cent and case fatality rate below 1 per cent.

“We are in the fourth stage of pandemic control. With the rising recovery rate, people have developed a false notion of security from the virus, leading to negligence. It’s a must to re-awaken people to the dangers of this virus,” said the PM, asking the CMs to step up awareness. He said India’s Covid vaccine plan would be ready soon and asked the states to send inputs on priority groups for inoculation.

The Centre has, meanwhile, counted one crore health workers for the first stage of vaccination. On the vaccine, the PM said he couldn’t stop people from politicising the issue and that he would follow scientific advice on the matter. His reference was to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi yesterday asking which vaccine would India use.

Modi said answers on vaccine dosage or pricing were not available yet, though the government was in touch with local and global developers to ensure the vaccine was procured in time.

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