“As per 11 am data, unutilised doses available with states and union territories for administration is 1,67,20,693. From now till April end, 2,01,22,960 doses are in the supply pipeline to states and UTs,” he said.
“This clearly shows that the problem is of lack of better planning, not of vaccine doses shortage. We have made available vaccine doses to states and UTs from time to time, and as we told you earlier that to bigger states we give supply of four days at once and on fourth and fifth day we replenish the supply. For smaller states, at once we supply 7-8 days vaccine doses and on seventh or eighth day their supply is replenished,” he added.
Bhushan said each state government needs to ascertain at cold chain points how many unutilised doses are there, and if necessary, then the doses have to be reappropriated based on consumption patterns from one cold chain point to another.
“In any state, the case might be that in one district more consumption is taking place while in another there is less consumption. Our request to state governments is to ascertain where the doses can be reappropriated from,” he added.
Bhushan also said Kerala has zero wastage of vaccine doses, while on the other hand there are states which are registering 8-9 per cent wastage.
In terms of the number of daily doses administered globally, India continues to remain at the top with an average of 41,69,609 doses given per day, he underlined.
Noting that the trend in India’s Covid-19 cases trajectory in the second wave is “worrying”, the Centre said states like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat need to ramp up the proportion of the RT-PCR tests.
Bhushan said the previous highest surge has already been crossed and the “trend is going upward and that is a cause for worry”.
He said the Centre continuously tries to help the states and UTs in tackling the pandemic in a more effective manner.
The previous highest surge was 94,372 daily cases in September which is now 1,61,736 every day, while the daily deaths are also showing an increasing trend, Bhushan said.
NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said a serious situation is emerging. While the situation is worse in some states it is a countrywide problem and there has to be continued focus on test, track, trace and treat strategy and following Covid appropriate behaviour as well as embracing the vaccines, he said.
He urged people to join a “mask movement”.
Amid reports of shortage of remdesivir, he said the antiviral drug is to be given only to hospitalised, serious patients and those on oxygen support, and there is no question of its use in home setting and it is not to be procured from chemist shops.
“As a shortage of remdesivir was reported in some areas, its export was banned. This medicine is now available in plenty. We appeal to physicians to ensure a rational, correct and judicious use of remdesivir in hospitalised patients,” he said.
Paul further advised people to adopt AYUSH products and have chyawanprash, turmeric milk, tulsi kaadha, stating they will help boost immunity.
Responding to a question on people contracting coronavirus infection even after taking both the doses of anti-coronavirus shots, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said that Covid-19 vaccines reduce the chances of developing a severe infection and mortality.
There is 85 per cent reduction in hospitalisation after vaccination and that is well established internationally, he said.
Currently, two vaccines — Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) — are being used for inoculation in India.
India’s drug regulator has also granted permission for the restricted emergency use of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V with certain conditions on Monday.