cThe government on Tuesday directed states and union territories to utilise all private hospitals as Covid-19 vaccination centres. Even those private hospitals which are not under any central schemes such as the AB-PMJAY, CGHS, and state insurance schemes can also be utilised as vaccination sites, it said.
R S Sharma, the Chairman of the Empowered Group (EG) on COVID-19 Vaccine Administration in a briefing on Tuesday said state governments are coordinating with hospitals and supplying vaccines to them and “we are encouraging them to involve more and more private hospitals”.
About 50 lakh people have registered themselves on the Co-WIN portal, without any system glitch, since the window opened Monday morning, the Centre said Tuesday, adding that over 2.08 lakh beneficiaries above 60 or those aged 45-60 with comorbidities have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine till this afternoon.
The vaccination drive for those over 60 years of age and within the age bracket of 45-60 years with specified comorbidities began on March 1, and the registration opened at 9 am Monday on the Co-WIN portal — cowin.gov.in. In the first two phases so far, 1,48,55,073 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country till 1 pm on Tuesday, out of which 67,04,856 healthcare workers have been given the first dose of the vaccine and 25,98,192 healthcare workers have been administered the second dose, government officials told a press conference here.
Besides, 53,43,219 frontline workers have been administered the first dose of vaccine till now, they said. As many as 2,08,791 people above 60 years of age and those aged 45-60 years with comorbidities have taken the first dose of the vaccine, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told the weekly press conference. R S Sharma said there were no glitches in the system. What happened was that people were looking for an App on Playstore which appeared similar to Co-WIN and started using that, when no mobile App meant for registration is actually present right now, he said. Citizens can register and book an appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the Co-WIN 2.0 portal or through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu, he said.
“Since last morning, when the registrations were opened up at 9 am, we had about 50 lakh registrations on our site. Though there were some glitches in the first version of the Co-WIN which was launched on January 16, we have had no glitches in the new version of the system,” he said. He said the government is watching the system closely as it has to be “highly scalable”. “It should be able to take care of huge amount of load. After all, it is a program with which we will be vaccinating 1/6th of humanity and this program has to cater to millions of people at the same time,” he said.
The number of transactions and data transmission will be very large, he said. “We want data to be secure and free from cyber-attacks. We are taking best security practices. We are only collecting data in the form of name, age and gender as we need to monitor the second dose,” he said.
Bhushan said though certain states including Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are seeing a surge in number of COVID-19 active cases, “the fact remains that recovered cases are still more than 97 per cent and India’s active cases are less than 2 per cent (1.51 per cent. NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul urged people to come forward to get vaccinated and stressed that public compliance for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour cannot be diluted. He said one of the reasons for the surge in cases in some states are large gatherings, parties and weddings. He urged people to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings, stating these can act as super-spreading events. Two states — Maharashtra and Kerala — account for 75 per cent of the total COVID-19 active cases, Bhushan said, adding India has recorded 113 COVID-19 deaths per million and conducted 1,57, 684 tests per million population,.
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