While India’s Covid vaccination rollout has continued to falter due to supply shortages and vaccine hesitancy in several states, in Meghalaya, the targeted population for vaccination is 20,25,583. However, the progress of the drive has been tardy with only 36.29 percent population has received both Covid-19 doses on Tuesday
Currently, the North Garo Hills district is the worst performer with only 20.58% of the targeted 1,26,818 people have been vaccinated. The cumulative data compiled by the Health Department on Tuesday stated that South West Garo Hills district tops the chart with 47.85% of the targeted 93,836 people vaccinated. Followed by East Khasi Hills district with 43% of the 5,64,659 people covered, West Garo Hills district with 41.63% of the targeted 3,41,513 people and East Jaintia Hills district with 38.20% of the targeted 86,145 people vaccinated.
The vaccination coverage for Ri-Bhoi is 34.30% (targeted 1,73,289), South West Khasi Hills 33.44% (targeted 67,274), West Jaintia Hills 29.03% (targeted 1,85,476), West Khasi Hills 26.66% (targeted 1,93,347), East Garo Hills 25.31% (targeted 98,189), South Garo Hills 22.97% (targeted 94,037) and North Garo Hills 20.58% (targeted 1,26,818).
However, the state government has set a target to complete the vaccination of all the eligible population by the end of September or early October.
Attending a Virtual meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with all the chief ministers of the North-East region on Tuesday, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, “…..We are very hopeful that we will see the rates of vaccination go up even higher in the coming weeks and months.”
“We are hopeful that if the state is able to intensify the vaccination drive by upto about 20,000 to 25,000 vaccinations per day, we expect to complete the vaccination of all the eligible population by the end of September or early October,” CM added.
The positivity rate has come down below 10 percent in the state adding there are two districts as of now which are seeing 10 plus percentage of positivity rate.
Stating that the big concern for the state is the vaccination drive, the Chief Minister said, “We are still below the national average in certain cases. Therefore, we are pushing that in a mission mode.”
“We have asked the MLAs, MDCs, different religious leaders, headmen, civil societies and all to help and contribute towards how we could enhance the vaccination drive,” he added.
Commenting on the Covid scenario, Sangma stated that there is a steady decline in Covid-19 cases in the estate but the decline has not been at the rate that has been anticipated, even as he pointed out that in rural areas the spread has been more and it is taking time to decline.
“….. in the rural areas we’re seeing that the spread has been more and is taking time to come down completely. So but we are expecting that in the next few weeks, things should look much better than what they are today,” Conrad said.
Expressing gratitude towards the centre for providing the vaccinations free of cost to all population above the age of 18, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed that the centre has also supplied the state with PSA oxygen plants for different districts.
Approximately, 14 of them have been sanctioned by the government of India and at the same time, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, and different healthcare equipment and infrastructure have been given by the government,” Sangma said.
The interaction was attended by the Chief Ministers of Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Assam. The Chief Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for timely action in handling the Covid pandemic.
They appreciated his special care and concern for the North-East States. Apart from the Chief Ministers, Union Ministers for Home, Defence, Health, DONER, and other Ministers were present during the interaction.