Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said on Tuesday the state is prepared for the coronavirus vaccination and doses would be administered to healthcare, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age on a priority basis. He added that the state government would abide by the Centre’s guidelines and conduct the vaccination effectively.
“We’re prepared for Covid-19 vaccination in Bihar. It will be given to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and people above 50 years on priority. We will be following the central guideline & will conduct the vaccination effectively,” Kumar said while speaking to reporters.
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Earlier, the chief minister asked health officials to keep up the high rate of testing. Reviewing the functioning of the state’s health department, Kumar further told officials that vaccination drive should be accomplished with all alertness in accordance with the ‘pulse polio drive’ which saw Bihar getting rid of the disease.
The state cabinet on December 15 had approved the inoculation of the entire population free of cost once the vaccine becomes available.
Bihar has registered nearly 254,000 coronavirus cases till now of which 1,408 people have died and 247,484 have recovered, according to the Union health ministry’s dashboard.
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Schools and colleges in the state opened on Monday after a gap of more than nine months. Physical classes have been allowed for students of classes 9-12 and for final year students in colleges. However, Education department principal secretary Sanjay Kumar told news agency PTI that the classes would operate only at half the strength of total students and all Covid-19 protocols would have to be followed strictly.
Meanwhile, the Union health ministry during a press briefing on Tuesday said that the total active cases in India were less than 250,000 and continued to decline. “Forty-four per cent of active cases are in hospital with moderate or severe symptoms needing regular care. Fifty-six per cent of cases are very mild or asymptomatic & are in home isolation. The overall burden on health delivery structure declined appreciably on account of Covid in India,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.