Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government once again demanded that the Centre should provide at least 25 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine immediately. This needs to be done to speed up vaccination in Odisha and the doses will be required for people who are awaiting the second jab.
Currently more than 22 lakh people in the state are still waiting for the second dose of the vaccine. Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das raised the demand before Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan during a meeting conducted over video Wednesday.
“During the meeting with the Union Health Minister, I urged him to immediately provide at least 25 lakh doses of Covishield as about 22 lakh people are waiting for the second dose. I have intimated him about letters written to the Centre regarding this,” Das said after the meeting.
Odisha has also demanded 30,000 oxygen cylinders, 500 ventilators and a bulk amount of rapid antigen test kits from the Centre, Das said. It should be stated here that Odisha has been in the forefront of supplying the life-saving gas to states that have a shortage of oxygen.
Through there is no crisis of oxygen production in Odisha, the state has urged Vardhan to provide 15,000 B-type cylinders and 15,000 D-type cylinders to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to Covid19 hospitals.
At present the daily demand in Odisha for oxygen is about 52.9MT (metric tonne) while the state is supplying 155.51MT of oxygen through cylinders and 375MT through LMO (liquid medical oxygen), he pointed out.
Das also informed that there is sufficient stock of essential drugs like Remdesivir in Odisha. Das has urged the Centre to start a helpline number to connect with National Task Force to provide technical assistance to the states.
“At times the advice of the National Task Force varies from those provided by WHO. Hence to get over the confusion a 24×7 helpline should be functional, Das asserted. Then it will be beneficial for all states concerned, he added.