India

Bihar launches ‘Vaccine Express’ for cities


Image Source : AP/ FILE

Nitish Kumar said 121 vaccine express will start taking rounds of different localities of urban areas 

After successful launch of “Vaccine Express” in the rural areas, the Bihar government on Thursday rolled out similar vaccination vans for the urban areas with an aim to inoculate maximum number of people at their doorsteps. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar flagged off ‘Vaccine Express’ in the presence of Deputy Chief ministers-Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi- and Health minister Mangal Pandey here at a function.

The chief minister lauded the health department for the inoovative idea of plying vaccine vans in the cities to speed up inoculation of larger section of the population. Similar vans were run for the rural areas of the state in May end. In his speech, Kumar said a total of 718 vaccine express vans are moving around in the villages and similarly 121 such vehicles will start taking rounds of different localities of urban areas to help people get the jab at their doorsteps.

The chief minister said that every van is tasked to inoculate 200 citizens daily. The chief minister said that the state government is aiming to vaccinate maximum number of its citizens by the end of the year.

Bihar has been carrying vaccination of people in the age group of 18-44 and those above 45 years simultaneously. Battling second wave of the deadly virus like other parts of the country, Bihar has been from the beggining emphasising on the twin weapons of testing and maximum vaccination of people to rein in the pandemic.

In a bit to expedite clinical examination for COVID, the state government had recently launched testing vans for the rural areas to conduct RT-PCR tests of larger number of people in the villages. Such vans are conducting around 1000 RT-PCR tests daily.

COVID-19 second wave continues to be on the wane in Bihar due to the sustained efforts put in by the state government which recently extended lockdown for the fourth time till June 8. On Wednesday fewer than 50 fatalities were reported and 1,158 people tested positive for the disease.

According to the health department, the death toll reached 5,268, a rise of 46 since Tuesday, while the total number of confirmed cases stood at 7. 09 lakh. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients was 6. 91 lakhs. The recovery rate was 97. 48 per cent the previous day.

Bihar has 12,590 active cases at present. The state has been rattled by the devastating second wave by which it was struck in the beginning of April. Since then, nearly 4,000 people have succumbed to the pandemic while close to five lakhs have been infected.

On the vaccination front, 1. 05 crore people have received their jabs so far. Bihar population in 2021 is estimated to be 12. 7 crore. Altogether 16. 11 lakh people in the 18-44 age group have received the jabs since May 8.

The Bihar chief minister who is monitoring coronavirus situation on a daily basis has said though the infection level has been ebbing now, but he has directed officials not to lower guards and keep adding up facilities for the future challenges.

He said the state state health department is regularly taking feedback from the grassroots from ministers in-charge of the districts as well as from the legislators for more effective work.

The Bihar government’s innovative Home Isolation Tracking (HIT) App has won praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ‘HIT COVID App’ has been developed by the Bihar State Electronics Development Corporation (BELTRON) under the guidance of the health department.

Giving detail of the app, Additional Chief Secretary Health Pratyaya Amrit has said that a nodal officer has been appointed in every district, where a special team has been constituted for better care of home quarantined patients.

As part of the exercise, 80,000 ASHA or Auxiliary Nurse Midwife workers and 15,000 rural health workers trained by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) have been engaged for a door-to-door survey of COVID patients in home isolation.

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