Shalini Pandit, the state’s health secretary, wrote to the federal government on Friday in response to an increase in Corona cases throughout the world, requesting that the state’s “left out” individuals who are 18 years of age or older resume receiving the COVID-19 preventive dosage immunisation.
In her letter written to the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Pandit said, “To date, 8.14 Crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the State. Of this, 3.52 Crore (97%) doses have been administered as the first dose and 3.30 Crore (91%) doses as the second dose to beneficiaries aged 12 years and above and 1.31 Crore (41%) doses administered as precautionary doses to citizens aged 18 years and above in the State.” She also apprised the Centre of the ‘non-availability’ of the precaution dose vaccination and demanded for the same.
“It is pertinent to mention here that all COVID-19 vaccines supplied by the Government of India have been completely utilized by 28th November 2022 and presently, there is no vaccine stock in the State. Now, there is demand from citizens for precautionary dose vaccination as there is a surge of COVID-19 cases in countries like Japan, the USA, the Republic of Korea, Brazil and China,” she said.
“Further, out of 3.25 Crore citizens aged 18 years and above eligible for precaution dose, only 1.31 Crore citizens have been vaccinated with precaution dose i.e. still 1.93 Crore (59%) citizens are yet to be vaccinated with precaution dose in the State,” the minister wrote in the letter.
She, earlier in the day, chaired a high-level meeting in view of the central government’s directives regarding COVID-19.
“The testing we have conducting it will continue and whole genome sequencing (WGS) of all the positive cases will be done,” she said.
“At present ILS, BBSR and RMRC, Bhubaneswar are conducting Whole Genome Sequencing for the COVID positive cases as a part of the INSACOG consortium. In the meantime, a WGS facility has been set up in the department of Bio Chemistry of SCB MCH Cuttack. It was also decided that SCB MCH will apply to INSACOG for affiliation of their WGS laboratory with INSACOG,” Pandit further said.
As per an official release by the government of Odisha, the state is recording below fifteen cases per day since November this year.
“Hospitalization at present in the state is nil with an active caseload of 54 as of date. The present testing level of 134 tests per million is much higher than the country level of 109 per million, the positivity rate is only 0.05 per cent in the state and there is no single hospitalisation in the ICU of any hospital of the state,” it said.