National

Kerala Cabinet nod to purchase one crore vaccines

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 28, 2021

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.

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

 

 

A meeting of the Kerala Cabinet has decided to authorise purchase of one crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine split into 70 lakh doses of Covishield and 30 lakh doses of Covaxin. It also decided against imposing a lockdown in the state although the test positivity rate reigns above 25 per cent.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told newspersons here that the 70 lakh Covishield vaccines will be procured at a cost of Rs 294 crore inclusive of five per cent GST (at Rs 400 each) while 30 lakh Covaxin vaccines will cost Rs 189 crore inclusive of GST (Rs 600 each). 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 Serum Institute of India (manufacturer of Covishield) and Bharat Biotech (Covaxin), 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 since the state had failed to elicit any response from the Centre for its pleas.

 

Vaccine shortage reigns

Ten lakh doses are expected to reach the state in May and the rest in and 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 but hardly has this served ay purpose.

The State government has once again requested the Centre to set right the glaring anomaly with respect to vaccine pricing, the Chief Minister said. The vaccines should be made available to the states at the same price as the Centre procures from the manufacturers, the Chief Minister reiterated.

While taking a decision against a lockdown in the state, the Cabinet, that met probably for the last time ahead of results of the Assembly elections due on May 2, decided to further tighten restrictions locally wherever the rate of infections is high, and could potentially go out of control.

 

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.  The Cabinet, however, recalled that an all-party meeting convened earlier by the Chief Minister too had expressed the consensus view that a lockdown is better avoided this time.

The State will officially inform its stand to the Centre since it had stated that a decision on lockdown would be taken only in consultation with the State governments concerned. But the Cabinet assessed that the prevailing situation is grave that warrants focused attention involving tightening of restrictions across most of the state.

 

Active cases touch new peak

Meanwhile on Wednesday, the number of new daily cases came in at 35,013, the highest recorded during not just the raging second wave but also the entire year and more 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. The ongoing restrictions in these places with respect to crowding and public movement will be strictly adhered to.

Special attention is being given to areas migrant workers are developing symptoms in higher numbers. 

 

 

Published on April 28, 2021

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