Amid a second wave of the pandemic gripping the country, a ‘Tika Utsav’ or vaccine festival will be conducted from April 11-14, with an aim to vaccinate the maximum number of eligible people in the country.
Speaking in the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Tika Utsav marks India’s second war on Covid-19.”
Emphasising on the need to maintain personal hygiene, he urged sociaties to set up micro containment zones in case of any reports of new infections.
Modi also urged everyone to help each other and asked countrymen to adopt the mottos— “each one, protect one” and “each one, save one”.
Modi had mooted this idea during a meeting with chief ministers on April 8.
However, the vaccine festival is being held at a time when numerous states are facing a vaccine shortage including Maharashtra, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
Earlier, the Maharashtra government had shut down many vaccination centres and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday had announced that inoculation in Mumbai will only take place in government and civic centres, between 9 am and 5 pm, today.
Meanwhile, several others states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are gearing up with appeals being made to eligible people to get themselves vaccinated in the coming days.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also issued an appeal to people to get vaccinated in large numbers during the 'Tika Utsav'.
On Saturday, the health ministry said that India is the fastest nation to administer 100 million doses in 85 days. The US took 89 days to administer 10 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine, while China took 102 days to cross the same number, it said.
The Prime Minister's Office also tweeted a chart showing India as the fastest country to reach this vaccination milestone, calling it "strengthening efforts to ensure a healthy and COVID-19 free India".
Strengthening the efforts to ensure a healthy and COVID-19 free India. pic.twitter.com/A2cQ22pxEf— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 10, 2021
In his interaction with chief ministers to discuss the Covid-19 situation and the ongoing vaccination drive on Thursday, Modi had urged them to focus on vaccinating all those who are above 45 years in age in high caseload districts.
"Sometimes, it helps in changing the atmosphere. The birth anniversary of Jyotiba Phule is on April 11 and on April 14, there is the birth anniversary of Baba Saheb. Can we organise a 'Tika Utsav: or vaccine festival and create an atmosphere of 'Tika Utsav'?" he had said
"We should vaccinate as many eligible people through a special campaign and decide on zero wastage. If there is zero wastage in four days during 'Tika Utsav', it will also increase our vaccination capacity," Modi had asserted.
He has also called for making optimum utilisation of vaccination capacity.
"Let’s see how we can mobilise things from April 11 to 14 and there will be satisfaction of achievement. It will greatly help in changing the situation. I have also told the Indian government to provide as many vaccine doses as possible," he said.
This should be our endeavour to vaccinate maximum eligible people during the 'Tika Utsav', Modi had asserted.
The daily count of positive cases reached new record highs in the last few days despite having dipped to about 20,000 a few weeks back.
While some states have flagged a "shortage" of vaccine doses, the Centre has maintained that a sufficient quantity of the jabs have been allocated to all the states and that many of them have been unable to inoculate all eligible beneficiaries.
(With PTI inputs)
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