Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said his government will consider importing Covid-19 vaccines to ensure that people in the state are inoculated against the viral disease at the earliest. Speaking at a high-level meeting held to review the Covid-19 situation in the state, the chief minister stressed the need to accelerate the pace of vaccination to stem the spread of the pandemic and bring down the fatality rate.
Gehlot said all options should be considered to ensure the availability of vaccines in the state. The state government will also consider importing vaccines as there is a need to inoculate the state’s residents against Covid-19 at the earliest, he said.
The chief minister also directed officials to conduct special campaigns to generate awareness about the vaccination drive in rural areas as the pandemic is spreading very fast in villages. Health machinery should be fully activated in rural areas to prevent its spread and provide immediate treatment to those infected, he said.
To generate awareness, Gehlot said, maximum participation of all state government personnel and panchayat level representatives should be ensured. It is too late by the time people from villages arrive in cities for treatment. In such a situation, a door-to-door survey and distribution of medicine kits should be carried out, he said.
This will enable timely examination of symptomatic patients and it will be easier to save lives by providing medicines at the initial stage of the infection, he added. Gehlot said experts are also anticipating a third wave of Covid-19 that could be more deadly. It is feared that it will affect children more.
In view of this, infrastructure should be strengthened in children’s hospitals. Intensive care facilities like NICU and PICU, etc., should be strengthened in these hospitals, he said. Health Minister Raghu Sharma suggested setting up oxygen plants at children’s hospitals, too, to prepare the state for the potential third wave of the pandemic.
Rajasthan recorded 160 Covid-19 fatalities and 17,987 fresh cases on Saturday that pushed the death toll to 5,506 and the infection tally to 7,38,786, according to an official report.