Bhubaneswar: With five more days to for beginning of the vaccination of people at the age of 18 years or above, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Sunday announced free vaccination for all.
Immediately after Mr.Patnaik’s announcement, the state government placed its orders for 387.34 doses of vaccine to be supplied to Odidsh in earlier dates. While the state required 377 Lakh of Covishield vaccine doses, its Covaxin requirement is 10.34 lakh, official sources said.
In a video message to the people of Odisha, the chief minister said the government has targeted to spend Rs 2,000 crore towards vaccination of 2 crore people in the state. “The people will not have to spend anything towards vaccination,” Mr.Patnaik said.
Though earlier, the people above 44 years were given free of cost vaccines, there had been no official announcement regarding the larger population. The vaccination of the persons above 18 years will start from May 1.
Noting that the state government does not want imposition of restrictions like lockdown, shutdowns and others as they impact the economy and livelihood of the people, Mr.Patnaik appealed to the people to cooperate with the administration by adhering to the COVID-19 protocol so that such a situation could be avoided.
He pointed out that the entire world has been experiencing a war-like situation and India has been recording the highest number of Covid cases in last few days, Patnaik said the corona situation in different places are deteriorating. The situation in Odidsha’s bordering districts are also alarming, he said.
“There is a shortage of oxygen and beds at hospitals. Even crematoriums are also lacking space for. The people who die in the pandemic are brothers, sisters, mothers and any relative of anyone. The situation is precarious as well as grave,” he said.
Noting that the entire country is passing through a very difficult situation, Patnaik said he has spoken to the Chief Ministers of other states and the Prime Minister and extended support. Currently Odisha is providing oxygen to six States, the Chief Minister informed.
Recalling last year’s situation, Mr.Patnaik said the situation could be managed with active cooperation of all. However, this time round, the situation is very grim.
“I consider all the people of Odisha as my family members. The State government has been doing all possible to save each life”, he stated adding: ““If we adhere to the Covid protocol and be careful, we can win the Covid battle without lockdown.“
“I request you with folded hands to religiously follow all Covid appropriate protocols. Wear masks, maintain social distancing at all costs. Until very necessary do not go out of the house,” Mr.Patnaik said in an emotional tone in the video message to the people of Odisha.