Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. (File Photo)
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. (File Photo)

Punjab CM says had Centre opened vaccination for above 45 earlier India's Covid-19 situation would have been better

ANI | Updated: Mar 31, 2021 22:28 IST

Chandigarh [India], March 31 (ANI): The COVID-19 situation in the country would have been better if the Centre had not delayed the opening up of vaccination for the over-45 years age group, said Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday.
"Had the central government acceded the state's request for allowing vaccination of all over-50 category population earlier instead of delaying the decision to include over-45 age population by almost two months, the situation would perhaps have been better than the present," he said.
Singh also took strong exception to the Centre's criticism of his government's management of the COVID-19 surge, pointing out that Punjab's tests per million were greater than the national average.

The Chief Minister pointed out that his government had put severe restrictions on social gatherings and closed all educational institutions, with night curfews imposed from 9 pm to 5 am in severely affected 11 districts.
"The state government had been repeatedly requesting GoI in writing, as well as in meetings attended by the Chief Secretary, that the current strategy of immunization needs review. Vaccination in a campaign that covers all age groups in selected areas will lead to better outcomes than the periodic cycles of vaccination targeting a small section of the population at each cycle," he stressed.
He further reiterated his demand for permission for occupation-based immunization for school and college students and Teachers, Judges, Bus drivers and Conductors, Panches/ Sarpanches, Mayors/ Municipal Committee, Presidents/ Counsellors, MLAs, MPs everywhere.
Over the last few weeks, COVID-19 cases in the country have been increasing rapidly.
Five states -- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh -- cumulatively account for 79.30 per cent of the total active cases in the country. As many as 53,480 new COVID-19 cases were registered in the country in the last 24 hours. (ANI)