U'khand urges Centre if state can directly import vaccine, says it needs 1 lakh doses per day
Dehradun (Uttarakhand), May 11 — Amid rising cases of COVID-19, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash on Monday said the state needs one lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine per day.Addressing a joint press conference here yesterday, Prakash stated that the state government has requested the central government to allow the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines from abroad."We need 1 lakh vaccine doses per day. We have written to the Central Government to ask if the state government can import the vaccine directly from other countries. Meanwhile, we have decided to start a mobile testing van very soon. The vehicle will go to remote rural areas to identify the patients and check them for Covid-19 there itself. This will save them the hassle of going to the city for Covid-19 testing," said the Chief Secretary.Prakash further informed that oxygen beds currently in use in the state get 126 metric tonnes of oxygen per day as against the actual requirement of 130 metric tonne.He stated that hospitals are generating five metric tonnes of oxygen, adding that more oxygen plants are coming up in the medical facilities of the state which will increase the oxygen production capacity of the state by four metric tonnes.Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Health Secretary Amit Negi informed that the state had 673 oxygen-supported beds in March 2020 which has now increased to 5,500.He further said, "There were 216 ICUs in the state in March 2020. The number has now gone up to 1,390. The number of ventilators has also increased from 116 in March 2020 to 876 now. Also, the number of oxygen cylinders and concentrators has increased significantly in the state. Currently there are 9,900 oxygen cylinders and 1,293 oxygen concentrators in the state."He also stated that ambulance services and COVID-19 testing labs have also increased in the state, adding that there are 360 ambulances in the state at present and 10 government labs are cnducting tests across the state round the clock.Responding to a question on the rising mortality rate in the state, the Chief Secretary said that most of the deaths are due to late admission of the COVID-19 patient.He also said that the Health Secretary will talk to the hospital management and review the availability of beds in hospitals, adding that a joint team comprising of officials from the Health department, district officers, and police will inspect hospitals.