“As of now, our priority is to provide the second dose of COVID vaccine to those who have taken the first dose,” Govind Karjol, Deputy Chief Minister and district in-charge Minister, said in Belagavi on Thursday. “The committee of experts advising the State government has said there is no need to worry even if the second dose is delayed. But still, we are making sure that it is given to people at the appropriate time.’’
He was speaking to journalists after they were vaccinated at the Vantamuri primary health centre.
“Owing to the scarcity of vaccines, the government has decided to inoculate those who have got the first dose. This has to be done within six to eight weeks of the first dose. Hence the government has suspended the vaccination of those between 18-45, and those above 45 who want the first dose,’’ he said.
Reacting to allegations by Congress leaders, he said that he was not the kind of politician who would play politics over a pandemic. “I have invited Congress legislators to all the meetings that I have held to discuss COVID management. But they don’t attend. I cannot help it. I have welcomed the suggestions given by Congress MLA Mahantesh Koujalagi, in Bailhongal.”
He said he had instructed the District Health and Family Welfare Officer to start vaccination in primary health centres, community health centres and taluk hospitals; Commissioners and Tahsildars to provide lands for burial grounds in villages and towns; and officers to work in coordination with elected representatives about meeting the scarcity of oxygen, beds, and drugs.
Mr. Karjol wanted doctors to be given online training in optimal usage of oxygen. He asked police, revenue and health department officers to ensure that there is no black marketing of COVID drugs including Remdesivir. Any hospital charging more than the prescribed fees would face action.
Officials will take all steps to increase the number of beds and oxygen beds in Belagavi and taluk hospitals. Government residential schools, colleges and hostels would be converted into COVID care centres.
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