Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla promises to deliver 1.5 crore Covishield vaccine doses to Maharashtra after May 20
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope, on Wednesday, said, Serum Institute of India CEO Mr Adar Poonawalla has guaranteed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to supply 1.5 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield to Maharashtra after May 20.
The state cabinet held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the Covid situation in Maharashtra.
Interacting with news reporters, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, " Serum Institute CEO, Mr Adar Poonawalla has promised the CM of Maharashtra to supply 1.5 crore doses of Covishield vaccine to Maharashtra after May 20. We will start the vaccination for the 18-44 years age group once we receive the vaccine."
As Maharashtra has suspended the Covid vaccination for the 18-44 years, age group, for now, due to the unavailability of vaccines, the health minister stated: "Vaccination for 18-44 age group has been suspended temporarily due to shortage of vaccines. All the doses purchased by the Maharashtra state government for the age group will now be diverted for the 45+ age group category."
Asked about the extension of lockdown in the state, Rajesh Tope said, "At the Cabinet meeting, the health department, as well as other ministers, proposed to extend the lockdown for the next 15 days."
Aslam Sheikh, Minister in Maharashtra Cabinet, said the Central government should soften the norms to buy vaccines. "If the Centre softens its import laws, we will manage to vaccinate the people within 3 to 4 months. More rights need to be given to States so that we can buy vaccines from the market and vaccinate more and more people."
Maharashtra reported nearly 46,800 fresh COVID-19 cases and 816 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the state health department on Wednesday. The new cases pushed the count in the state to 52,26,710.
Near about 58,805 patients have recovered from the COVID-19 disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total recoveries to 46,00,196. For now, the active number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra stands at 5,46,129. With the new fatalities, the COVID-19 death total count in Maharashtra has mounted to 78,007.