New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded that every person walking to a COVID vaccination centre should get the jab, saying those who do not have access to the internet also have the right to life. Congress has been batting for vaccines for the poor, especially those living in far-flung and rural areas, who do not have digital access or smartphones.
The opposition party has also been demanding that CoWIN registration should not be mandatory for getting the Covid vaccine. “Online registration is not enough for the vaccine. Every person walking in at a vaccination centre should get the vaccine. Those who do not have access to internet also have the right to life,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
India, in the last 24 hours, has reported 94,052 COVID cases, and 6,148 deaths. This is the highest number of deaths that the country has seen in a day since the start of the pandemic. The jump in deaths comes after Bihar revised its toll on Wednesday, adding 3,951 previously uncounted deaths to its tally.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s plan to provide free vaccines to states for all citizens over 18 years from June 21 is likely to cost the exchequer an additional Rs 15,000 crore compared with the Budget allocation of Rs 35,000 crore.
“It is too early to give a correct estimate with multiple suppliers and different prices. But the rough estimate is total expenditure for vaccines for this year may be Rs 45,000-50,000 crore. In the Budget, we had provided Rs 35,000 crore, and of this, the government has paid out about Rs 5,000 crore,” a senior government official who did not wish to be named told The Indian Express.
Earlier on Thursday, terming the low coverage of Covid vaccination among the healthcare and frontline workers a cause of “serious concern”, GoI advised the states and Union Territories to prepare effective plans for expediting the second dose coverage among these priority groups, PTI reported.
At a high-level meeting chaired by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan with the states to review vaccination progress, it was highlighted that while the national average for the first dose administration among the healthcare workers (HCWs) is 82 per cent, for the second dose, it is only 56 per cent, a statement issued by the health ministry said.
Delhi on Thursday recorded 305 Covid cases and 44 deaths while taking the positivity rat down to 0.41%. On Wednesday, the capital state had recorded 337 fresh infections with a positivity rate of 0.46 per cent and 36 fatalities.