11 lakh frontline staff to get vaccine on priority: Rupani

Gujarat sees 671 fresh cases, 806 recoveries

Nearly 11 lakh people engaged in COVID-19 duties, including healthcare and frontline personnel, will be vaccinated for COVID-19 on priority in Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Sunday, adding that 16,000 personnel have been trained for administering the shots.

Mr. Rupani said the State had created a database of 1.2 crore people under four priority groups who will be administered the vaccine as per the Centre’s guidelines.

Gujarat on Sunday reported 671 fresh cases, taking the total case tally to 2,51,944. With four more patients succumbing to the virus, the toll has risen to 4,344.

A total of 806 patients were discharged during the day, taking the tally of recoveries to 2,39,771. The State’s recovery rate stands at 95.17%, while the number of active cases is 7,829.

The Central government on Saturday said India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16, with priority to be given to nearly three crore health care and frontline workers.

Mr. Rupani said six regional depots as well as other infrastructure, including cold chains for the storage and supply of vaccine doses, have been established. “We have completed the work to create a database [of priority groups] across Gujarat. Around 11 lakh people engaged in COVID-19 duties, including over four lakh health care staff and six lakh frontline personnel like police and sanitation workers, will get the first benefit of the vaccine,” the CM said.

As per a house-to-house survey for priority groups, more than 1.05 crore people over the age of 50, and 2.75 lakh people under 50 with comorbidities have been identified. He said, “Thus, around 1.2 crore people under four priority groups will be administered vaccines as per the Centre’s guidelines. Cold chains and other facilities for the storage and transportation of the vaccines have been put in place and their auditing is complete.”

Gujarat has also received additional facilities from the Central government for the purpose, he added in his video message. Mr. Rupani asked people to not pay heed to rumours related to vaccination, and attacked the Opposition parties for questioning the efficacy of the vaccine. “Those who questioned our soldiers after the surgical strike, the EVMs after losing elections, and judiciary after the Ram Mandir judgment, are raising questions on scientists and doctors who created these Made in India vaccines. It shows the low-level political mentality of the opposition parties, and people will not forgive them for this. I promise you as Chief Minister that all will certainly get vaccination as per priority arrangement. We should keep patience and trust,” he said.

‘Recovery on the rise’

Mr. Rupani added that the COVID-19 case recovery rate in Gujarat was above 94% and a majority of beds earmarked for treatment of the viral infection were lying unoccupied. “We have fought well, but the fight continues, and it has now reached its last stage. We look at 2021 with new hope. Our long wait for the vaccine ends, now that the vaccine has arrived. Both the vaccines are made in India, and show the will power of our scientists to realise the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.

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