Compulsory institutional quarantine for all-age COVID-19 patients with comorbidities
GUWAHATI: Assam Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said on Friday that for the time being no one would be administered Covaxin due to the shortage of the drug in the state. However, people who took the first doses of Covaxin would get their second doses within their due dates.
"There are 1.50 lakh people who will need their second dose of Covaxin. So that there is stock for all of these people, we have decided that from now on first-time vaccine takers will not be given Covaxin," the Minister said, addressing a press conference. He said that there is no need to panic about the availability of Covaxin for the second shot. The Centre has clarified that the second jab has to be taken between 28-42 days.
The Minister also said that the state would scale up the vaccination process from covering 50,000 people per day now to 70,000 a day. The vaccination drive would be intensified in the six districts of Kamrup Metro, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Cachar. Giving an update on the availability of vaccines in the state, the Minister said that there are 3.40 lakh vials of Covishield and 20,000 Covaxins on Friday.
Making another important announcement, the Minister said that from now on, anyone with co-morbidities irrespective of the person's age group would have to go for institutional quarantine. This is being done to bring down the death rate.
As a precautionary measure in the event of a third wave, the State Health Department would set up 320 pediatric ICU beds in the seven medical college and hospitals of the state and 250 pediatric ICU beds in the district hospitals, the Minister said.
The PWD has been asked to submit the estimated cost for this and the Health Department officials would monitor the setting up of the beds.
The Minister also added that Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the state and has given certain instructions which would be followed.
Asked about when the government would look at unlocking and lifting curbs, the Minister said that because of the curfew and restrictions on inter-district movement the COVID situation has shown slight improvement.