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Synchronised, well-orchestrated, converged approach: How Centre achieved milestone in vaccination drive

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New Delhi, June 23: As India achieved a "historic milestone" of administering 88.09 lakh coronavirus vaccine doses in a single day on June 21, nearly 64 per cent of the jabs were given in rural areas, the government said on Tuesday, and noted that it has been made possible through "synchronised, well- orchestrated, converged approach" between the central and state authorities and the people.

Synchronised, well-orchestrated, converged approach: How Centre achieved milestone in vaccination drive

Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Madhya Pradesh administered the maximum number of doses on June 21, followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Assam.

A shot in the arm: How govt achieved highest-single day vaccination coverage?A shot in the arm: How govt achieved highest-single day vaccination coverage?

Also, 92.20 per cent of the vaccinations happened in government COVID-19 Vaccination Centres while 7.80 per cent were at private CVCs.

"Of the total doses administered, women comprised 46.35 per cent of those vaccinated, men 53.63 per cent while others comprised 0.02 per cent," he said.

A historic milestone was achieved on June 21 -- 88.09 lakh doses administered in a single day. Among the doses, 36.32 per cent were administered in urban areas and 63.68 per cent in rural areas, Bhushan said.

NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul said the rural coverage of vaccination has been remarkable and in good proportion. And it shows that rural outreach is possible.

Since the vaccination began in mid-January, India has administered 29.16 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines till 3 pm on June 22.

Responding to a question on record single-day vaccination, Bhushan said, "What happened yesterday was not sudden, it was result of coordinated planning in which state governments and Union government collaborated and worked very hard and what is happening today is part of that planning and what will happen in remaining eight days of June are part of that collaborative planning."

He further said that from June 1 to 21 the average per day vaccination has been 34,62,841, so a jump to 88 lakh when capacity and vaccine is available is possible.

Paul said the record vaccination on June 21 became possible on the first day of the implementation of the new revised guidelines through "synchronised, well-orchestrated, converged approach" between the Union and state governments, and above all the people of India.

"It showed India''s capacity of daily vaccinations. We hope once the private sector joins the drive fully this capacity will go much higher," Paul said.

Speaking on the overall pandemic situation in the country, Paul said there is a consistent improvement but stressed that people must continue to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and avoid crowds and parties. He also stressed on increasing the uptake of vaccination.

Bhushan said there has been an almost 90 per cent decline in India''s daily COVID-19 cases as compared to the highest peak reported on May 7.

Also a sharp decline in weekly positivity -- 84 per cent decrease since the highest reported weekly positivity of 21.4 per cent recorded between May 4 and 10 -- has been noted.

Paul said that there are four elements leading to the formation of a new wave. These are behaviour of the virus which has the capacity and ability to spread and a susceptible host -- virus keeps looking for susceptible hosts for it to survive.

Third is transmissibility -- the virus can become smart enough where it mutates and becomes more transmissible.

Fourth is opportunity -- "which we give to the virus to infect. If we sit and eat together, crowd, sit in closed areas without masks, then the virus gets more opportunities to spread. A call to do what is in our hands".

The NITI Aayog member said that out of the above four, two elements -- susceptibility and opportunities for infection -- are totally under our control, whereas the other two -- behaviour of the virus and transmissibility -- cannot be predicted or controlled.

Speaking about easing restrictions and reopening of schools, Paul said that the decision has to be taken cautiously and that we should take risks only when we are protected.

"School is a crowd, a medium or large gathering, which gives opportunity for virus to infect. So, we should take that risk only when we are rather better protected, virus is suppressed and we are able to sit at a distance. But it is not easy to take this decision to open schools when an unpredictable situation is prevalent."

He also mentioned that the virus is suppressed at present due to discipline and restrictions prevalent in many states, and if restrictions are eased and schools opened, then the virus gets opportunities to infect.

Responding to a question, Paul said, "The elderly can resume normal lives if fully vaccinated and without comorbidities but they also need to take precautions like wearing masks, avoid crowds."

"They can go for walks outdoors too but not to crowded places...still they would need to take precautions," Paul said.

In response to another question, Bhushan said Cowin has established itself as a robust platform which handled maximum traffic of 2.4 billion in one day without crashing and the day the platform was opened for 18-plus people in the first six hours of opening it saw 13.7 million visits and the system did not crash.

"Large number of countries are interested in taking the technology and using it and National Health Authority, Health Ministry and External Affairs Ministry are together planning a global webinar in which such potentially interested countries would be invited and we would be more than willing to share the technology and solution with them," he said.

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