At a time when India is battling its worst Covid-19 spike, its vaccination numbers have been declining. Worryingly, the figure has remained below 30 lakh per day on average over the past seven days — 16 per cent down from the week before. This is despite drives to boost the numbers initiated by none less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
On the seven days from April 11 to 17, the daily number of vaccinations ranged between 26.46 lakh at a minimum to 40.04 lakh — mostly remaining below the 30 lakh figure. In the wake of the spike in cases across the country, the Prime Minister had suggested holding a “Tika Utsav” on April 11-14 to boost the vaccination numbers. Yet, many parts of India continued to face an acute shortage of vaccines.
Today, vaccinations were stopped in 1,077 government-run centres in Telangana, which now awaits a fresh stock of 2.7 lakh vaccine doses from the Centre.
The country yesterday reported the highest ever spike in fresh Covid case at 2,61,500. The figure is expected to cross the 3-lakh mark in a few days.
This spike comes amid five bitterly-fought state assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry. Political rallies, roadshows, and other events saw the Covid-19 protocol being breached brazenly by all parties and most leaders during the ongoing campaign. Such flouting of rules is likely to continue till the last phase of the polls on April 27.
In the meantime, religious festivals like the Kumbh Mela in Uttaranchal’s Haridwar and the upcoming Thrissur Pooram of Kerala have also turned contentious, especially over a similar lack of observance of Covid-appropriate behaviour.