“No Shortage Of Remdesivir, Need Covid Vaccines”: Punjab Health Minister

Balbir Singh Sidhu said people aged between 20 and 45 are also turning up for inoculations

New Delhi:

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Sunday said there was no shortage of antiviral drug Remdesivir, but the state needed vaccine doses against the coronavirus. “We can vaccinate 2 lakh people daily,” he said at the NDTV Solutions Summit.

Talking about the coronavirus situation in Punjab, he said the state’s Covid positivity rate was 4.5 per cent and 30 per cent beds were occupied.

He said in the last coronavirus wave, students coming from other states and non-resident Indians or NRI had contributed to the total cases. “We had low testing capacity,” he said, adding it has been ramped up massively.

He also said that at vaccination centres, people aged from 20 to 45 are turning up for inoculations against the deadly virus.

At the Solutions Summit on Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had pointed out shortages of oxygen and vaccines.

“Four locations in our state were cleared for setting up oxygen plants. But the final go-ahead from the centre has been awaited since last year. Just yesterday, I wrote to Union Minister Piyush Goyal about this. This is a problem,” he had said.

“Now they say ramp it (vaccinations) up to two lakhs a day… if I ramp it up, I have one-and-a-half days of supply,” Mr Singh added.

The Chief Minister had also said that the coronavirus situation in Punjab was not as bad as other states.

Punjab is one of the 10 states that reported 86 per cent of deaths on Saturday, according to the government data.

The Chief Minister had said the deaths were the result of people approaching doctors late after the onset of initial symptoms.

“Testing is very important and so is going to hospital at the right time to break the chain of transmission. Higher the testing, more the number of infections. We might have reported a higher number of cases because we tested more people,” Amarinder Singh had said.

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