Maharashtra sends SOS over lack of vaccine doses, says centres shut, stocks to last 3 days only

Vaccination centres in Maharashtra had to be shut down owing to lack of doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

UPDATED: April 7, 2021 17:14 IST

Vaccination centres in Maharashtra had to be shut down owing to lack of doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said. Tope was briefing the media about concerns he shared with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan during a video conference on Tuesday evening.

The Centre wants us to vaccinate 6 lakh people each day, Rajesh Tope said. He adds, “We are at 4.5 lakh already. We have accepted your challenge.”

Maharashtra is following the 3T principle strictly along with advisories by the Centre, including restrictions and night curfews, Rajesh Tope said.

He went on to say that vaccination centres in Maharashtra are sending people back owing to the lack of doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines.

“We have 14 lakh vaccines that will last us only for three days. After that, it might bring vaccination to a standstill,” Rajesh Tope said.

He added that Maharashtra needs a stable supply of 40 lakh vaccines each week.

“I am not saying that the Centre is obstructing, but the supply is slow,” Tope told the media.

‘Asking for Covid vaccines for all aged 18, above’

Rajesh Tope said that increasing immunity and creating antibodies is the solution to ending the pandemic. “For that, vaccination needs to go up and that is why I am requesting you to please give us doses,” he said recalling his conversation with the Union Health Minister.

The Maharashtra health minister also told the media that the demand for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has gone up which is why the state has asked the Centre to supply more doses of Covaxin.

People in the age group of 20-40 are getting the most infected because they go out every day, Rajesh Tope said.

Advocating for Covid-19 vaccines for all aged 18 and above, the Maharashtra health minister said this is how the spread of infection can be controlled.

Need oxygen from neighbouring states: Tope

Asked about consumption of oxygen of Covid-19 patients in the state, Rajesh Tope said Maharashtra is consuming 700 mT (metric ton) of oxygen each day while producing 1200 mT (metric ton) on a daily basis.

Maharashtra needs oxygen from neighbouring states, Rajesh Tope said adding that Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that he will look into the matter.

‘Use of Remdesivir must be limited’

“We have instructed doctors on limiting the use of Remdesivir. It is observed that just for the sake of extra billing, some doctors are administrating Remdesivir. We have control over government doctors but not on private practitioners,” Rajesh Tope said.

The Maharashtra health minister added that the state government had capped the prices of Remdesivir but instructions regarding the same were never followed. A committee is being formed to keep a check on the use of Remdesivir in private hospitals, he told the media on Wednesday.

Maharashtra at peak of second surge: Rajesh Tope

Referring to the Maharashtra government’s strategy to deal with the recent surge in infections, Rajesh Tope said the number of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients is being increased in Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Nasik.

Maharashtra is at the peak of the second surge and the positivity rate is 25 per cent, said Rajesh Tope.

While acknowledging the anger of some business owners, the Maharashtra health minister said the state government understands their problems but has to save lives. Everyone should be patient, he appealed to the people.

“Muslim delegations are also requesting relaxations during Ramadan. We will consider all requests on merit,” Rajesh Tope said.


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