Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo/ANI)
Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo/ANI)

COVID vaccination for those over 18 may be delayed as Kerala yet to get vaccines: Vijayan

ANI | Updated: May 01, 2021 21:20 IST


Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], May 1 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that COVID vaccination for those over 18 years of age may be delayed as the state is yet to get the vaccine from manufacturers.
"The process of purchasing the vaccine from the vaccine manufacturers is in progress. We had decided to vaccinate all the people above 45 years of age by May 30 but it will not be possible as we have not yet received the required vaccine stock. Therefore, immediate steps need to be taken by the Central Government to make more vaccines available." he said.
Vaccination opened in the country on May 1 for those between 18 to 44 years in the third phase of the drive.
Addressing media persons here on Saturday, Chief Minister reiterated that those waiting for the second dose of the vaccine will be given priority over those who have registered for the first dose.
He also issued a stern warning that the government will be forced to take legal action against private laboratories in the state who do not pass on the benefits of the revised RTPCR testing rate to the customers.
The state government had on April 29 slashed the rate of the RTPCR test used to detect coronavirus infection from Rs 1,700 to Rs 500.
"We understand that some private labs are refusing to conduct RT-PCR tests after their rates were reduced. The government expects the private labs to cooperate with the government's decision and adhere to the revised rates.
The revised tariff of Rs 500 is inclusive of the manpower cost for conducting the test and the price of materials/equipment used for the test which comes to Rs 240. These rates were decided after a detailed study," he said.
Vijayan said that it has also been noticed that some labs are encouraging their customers to opt for the costly TrueNat test.
"The government will not accept this at a time when the disease spread is on the rise. We will be forced to take legal action against those labs who refuse to do the tests or insist on billing at the old rate," he said.
The Chief Minister also extended his May Day greetings to all healthcare workers who have dedicated themselves to COVID prevention and are at the forefront in the fight against this pandemic for more than a year now without a break.
Kerala reported 35,636 new COVID cases today from 1,46,474 sample tests with a test positivity rate of 24.33 per cent. Two districts, Kozhikode and Ernakulam, have reported over 5,000 new cases.
The total number of patients under treatment in the state is now 3,23,828 even as 15,493 patients were cured of the infection during the last one day. The toll has gone up to 5,356 with 48 deaths.
The Chief Minister also informed that 150 private hospitals (up from 106 a week ago) are now part of the Karunya Aarogya Suraksha Scheme (KASP). Efforts are also being made to add more private hospitals as part of this scheme. This would enable the government to bear the medical expenses of more COVID patients seeking treatment in private hospitals. They have been asked to reserve 50 per cent of their beds for COVID treatment.
The CM has once again asked all the political parties and their supporters to avoid any victory processions, celebrations, gatherings or thanksgiving events on the counting day post the announcement of the election results in view of the serious COVID situation in the state. (ANI)

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