New Delhi: With India’s new Covid-19 cases crossing one lakh in a single day on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has again called for a meeting with Chief Ministers of states and Lieutenant-Governors of Union territories on Thursday to review the situation. The back-to-back meetings, after the one chaired by the PM on Sunday, is a part of the Central government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus, which has once again turned into a full-blown crisis.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has called a meeting with 11 states and UTs “of grave concern” on Tuesday to take stock of the worsening situation. Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan are some of the places that are reporting a very high surge in daily cases.
Mumbai recorded 9,857 new cases on Sunday, prompting the state government to announce additional curbs. The state has announced containment measures that include imposing prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC. All beaches and outdoor activities will remain out of bounds, while malls and shops will remain closed.
Their staff will have to get vaccinated during this shutdown period. Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple will be closed from Monday evening onwards till further orders for “darshan” and the regular aarti and puja can be seen by devotees through webcasts. Similarly, the Saibaba temple in Shirdi in the state will also remain shut from Monday midnight.
Delhi on Monday had 3,458 new cases while Karnataka reported 5,279 cases, of which 3,728 cases were from Bengaluru Urban alone. Kerala, with 2,357 daily cases on Monday, saw a fall in its spike while new cases have started coming from Bihar while Tamil Nadu had 3,672 by Sunday night.
The Delhi government has announced that one-third of all vaccination centres in all Delhi government hospitals will operate 24 hours from Tuesday. However, the Centre has asked Delhi to keep a watch on the beneficiaries, saying it has found cases of some people under 45 and healthcare and frontline workers being vaccinated in private centres despite a restriction on them.
In a letter to Delhi’s principal secretary (health), the Union health ministry pointed out that there were serious lapses in the registration of beneficiaries by Vimhans (Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health, Neuro and Allied Sciences) operating as a private Covid vaccination centre. Vimhans has been found to register beneficiaries below 45 as health care workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs), and vaccinate them.
Noting vaccines were a precious commodity, these serious lapses at the VIMHANS CVC in compliance of Covid-19 vaccination guidelines harm the countrywide vaccination exercise as eligible beneficiaries may get deprived from vaccination. The Delhi administration has been asked to immediately issue a show-cause notice to VIMHANS on such wrong practices which violate Covid-19 vaccination norms and seek a written explanation from them within the next 48 hours. Appropriate monetary fines may also be imposed on the hospital. Further, it has been suggested that depanelment of the hospital may be considered if the explanation to the show cause notice was found unsatisfactory.
In another case, the Delhi Government, in pursuance of the advice from the Union health ministry, has issued a show-cause notice to Bensups Hospital, Sector 12, Dwarka, for violation of the guidelines issued by the Centre on the eligible population groups for receiving Covid vaccination, where persons below the age of 45 have been wrongly registered as HCWs and FLWs.
Meanwhile, Zydus Cadila sought the approval of the Drugs Controller General of India for the use of Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b in treating Covid-19.
Source: Deccan Chronicle