Kerala Cabinet nod to purchase one crore vaccines

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 28, 2021

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan   -  The Hindu

Rules out lockdown

Kerala government has decided to authorise purchase of one crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine opted against imposing a lockdown.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told newspersons here that the 70 lakh Covishield vaccines will be procured at a cost of ₹294 crore and 30 lakh Covaxin vaccines at ₹189 crore. Final procurement price will be based court directives.

Final prices not fixed yet

This condition will be spelt out at the time of placing the order with the manufacturers, the Chief Minister said. He cited cases pending in the Supreme Court and several high courts on the issue of pricing of the vaccine.

The Chief Minister had tasked a high-level committee involving the Chief Secretary, the Finance Secretary and the Health Secretary with holding discussions with vaccine manufacturers on all aspects including the pricing and quantum required.

Ten lakh doses are expected to reach the State in May and the rest by July. Acute shortage of the vaccine is still being reported from the State with the CoWin platform for online registration remaining unresponsive. The State had received 2.2 lakh doses last evening. The vaccines should be made available to the States at the same price as the Centre procures from the manufacturers, the Chief Minister reiterated.

Also read: Kerala, where economics may just trump politics

While taking a decision against a lockdown in the State, it decided to further tighten restrictions locally wherever the rate of infections is high.

Lockdown ruled out

Earlier, the Centre had suggested that States can choose to declare lockdown wherever the test positivity rate had crossed 15 per cent. In Kerala it has crossed 25 per cent. However, an all-party meeting convened by the Chief Minister had also expressed reservations against a lockdown.

Active cases at new peak

Meanwhile on Wednesday, the number of new daily cases came in at 35,013, the highest recorded since the pandemic broke out. The test positivity rate (TPR) for the state as a whole too touched a new peak of 25.34 per cent.

The Chief Minister said the TPR is as high as 50 per cent in some areas in Kottayam and Thrissur districts.

Published on April 28, 2021

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