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Delhi govt announces free Covid vaccine for people in city

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The Delhi government on Saturday announced free Covid-19 vaccine doses to people in the capital city while and ensured the inoculation of one lakh people on a regular basis soon after it receives it from the Centre.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain made the announcement while reviewing the dry run of the Covid vaccination process at the Daryaganj dispensary in Central Delhi.

“(The) Covid-19 vaccine will be given free of cost to people in Delhi,” the Minister said, adding hat the “Delhi government has made preparations to vaccinate 1 lakh people in a day”.

“The Delhi government is fully prepared to roll out the vaccine to 1 lakh people on a daily basis. Initially, it will be rolled out to healthcare and frontline workers, along-with people over the age of 50 or with co-morbidity.

“Almost 51 lakh people will be vaccinated in the first phase. The vaccine will be provided free of cost to people in Delhi once it arrives,” the Minister said.

Jain said that the dry run for Covid-19 vaccination was organised at three places — the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital which falls under the Delhi government; the Venkateshwara Hospital which is a private hospital; and the Daryaganj dispensary.

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister said: “This is not the trial run for the vaccine but of its vaccination process. Preparations have been done in Delhi for the roll-out of the vaccine, from storage to the application.”

He added that 1,000 centres will be set up and these will be of three different categories — government hospital, private hospital and dispensaries.

“The purpose of conducting the dry run at three different types of centres was to review the system set up in each. The system is flawless.”

Responding to queries about the side effects of the vaccine, Jain said: “We have set up monitoring stations at all locations. Ten patients will be admitted at a time following all norms of social distancing.

“When the vaccination is applied, the person will be put under observation for 30 mins. Every centre has been linked to a hospital. Most of them are hospitals themselves but the ones which are not have been duly linked.

“In case any patient shows any kind of discomfort, an emergency room has been set up. Along with this, the patient will be sent to nearby hospitals, if need be.”

The Minister further explained that Delhi reported 585 cases on Friday, adding that the positivity rate was 0.73 per cent and it was on a continuous decline.

“Very soon, the number of cases too will come under 500.”

Jain added that some 10,500 to 11,000 beds are still vacant, adding that only 2,000 beds are occupied currently.

As far as the new Covid-19 strain is concerned, Jain said 40 cases have been traced and were admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital.

“Along with this, four private hospitals too, have been authorised. We are well aware and fully prepared to combat any situation,” the Minister added.