WITH Durga Puja and Lakshmi Puja over, the West Bengal government is now concentrating on stepping up vaccination against Covid-19, wary that cases may increase. The government is aiming at expediting the vaccination process and ensure that all individuals in the state above 18 years of age are given their first dose by year-end.
State Chief Secretary Harikrishna Dwivedi on Thursday issued instructions in this regard to every district administration and district health officers.
During Durga Puja, the daily vaccination number dropped to around 7,000 from more than 10 lakh a day. After Dussehra, the number increased to 10 lakh for a day on October 18 but dipped again since.
Director of Health Services Ajay Chakraborty said, “Puja ended and we have to get back to our work now. This time it may be more challenging to control the Covid situation since people didn’t behave responsibly enough… which was expected amid this pandemic situation. Maybe we need to fight harder this time as the rural and urban mixing is an additional threat after this festival. However, we are ready to accommodate the emerging situation and our doctors and nurses are ready to sacrifice their own comfort and serve humanity.”
A day after the Chief Secretary’s instructions to step up vaccination, the daily vaccination number increased significantly on Friday, when it crossed the 12 lakh mark.
A total of 12,29,565 persons were vaccinated, of whom 8,37,379 people got the first dose of the vaccine. The state also crossed the milestone of seven-crore doses. As of Saturday, 7,05,62,259 have been vaccinated, of whom 5,12,44,425 have received both their shots.
The target of the state administration is to achieve the first dose of vaccine takers numbers would be more than seven crore within this year.
A senior health department official said, “Vaccination picked up pace from September. Even in the flood situation, our ‘ASHA’ workers continued the door-to-door vaccination process. Now, after the rainy season is over, we are expecting the pace of vaccination to increase further and we will easily achieve the number that the state government expects to reach within this year.”