Maharashtra is likely to run short of coronavirus vaccines in three days, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope told NDTV on Wednesday. He added that the state had asked Centre to send more stock.
“Stocks of vaccine in the state remain only for three days,” said Tope. “We have requested the Centre to send more vaccine. This in the state with the highest number of cases coming everyday. In Mumbai also stocks only remain for three days.”
Tope said he apprised Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan about the situation on a video call on Tuesday. “We don’t have doses in most of our vaccination centres and they had to shut down,” Tope had told Vardhan. “They are sending people back because of lack of doses. I have been asking you to supply vaccine to us.”
Tope added that they suspect there was a new strain of the virus that is infecting people faster. “Samples have been sent to National Centre for Disease Control to ascertain this,” he told ANI.
Mumbai’s civic body also said that the vaccines were “about to get over”. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said Tope has spoken to the Centre about it.
“We are giving most of the doses to government hospitals,” said Pednekar. “We only have one lakh plus Covishield doses left. There is a bit of a shortage. The Centre needs to give us more stocks as soon as possible or it will be difficult to administer second doses.”
Maharashtra Principal Secretary (Health) Pradeep Vyas said the Centre was aware of the situation, reported PTI. “Many districts will run out of the stock today or tomorrow,” he added. Vyas said Maharashtra could easily administer five lakh vaccine doses in a day. Till now, the state has vaccinated nearly 82 lakh people.
Maharashtra on Tuesday said it has received 1.06 crore doses of the Covid vaccines, of which 88 lakh doses had been used and 3% had been wasted. As of Wednesday morning, Maharashtra has around 14 lakh vaccine doses in stock, according to a state health official.
Maharashtra is the worst-hit state as India grapples with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Mumbai on Tuesday alone reported 10,030 new coronavirus cases, taking its total count to 4,72,332. This is the second-highest daily count so far. The city had recorded 11,163 Covid-19 infections on April 4. Maharashtra recorded 55,469 new coronavirus cases and 297 deaths on Tuesday. The infection tally climbed to 31,13,354 and the toll went up to 56,330. As many as 34,256 recovered from the infection on Tuesday, taking the tally to 25,83,331. There are 4,72,283 active cases in the state.
India on Wednesday recorded 1,15,736 cases of coronavirus cases, the most infections reported in the world in a single day since the pandemic began. The country’s overall count rose to 1,28,01,785, or over 1.28 crore. The toll went up to 1,66,177, with 630 more fatalities reported.