Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said this afternoon that his government can vaccinate the entire national capital in three months if he gets nearly 85 lakh doses a month.
About 1 lakh vaccine doses are being administered in the city every day presently, the Chief Minister said, and the daily figure needs to be increased to 3 lakh. "A lot of people from neighbouring cities - Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Sonipat, Gurgaon, Noida - are coming to Delhi to get their Covid shots because they're liking the arrangements here. But we do not have enough vaccines. If we get doses in the right quantity, we can vaccinate the entire national capital in three months," Mr Kejriwal said this afternoon in a televised press briefing.
Explaining the math, he further added: "So far, we have got 40 lakh doses. There are about 1 crore people in the 18-44 age group; a total of 1.5 crore people are above 18 years of age. We need 2.6 crore vaccines in three months. Every month, we need about 80-85 lakh doses. I appeal to the centre to increase the number of doses for Delhi."
The centre earlier this week said the third wave of Covid is inevitable. Yesterday, however, at a press briefing, the Health Ministry said India could dodge the third wave with strict measures in places.
Arvind Kejriwal today mentioned this and said: "As we anticipate a third wave, it becomes all the more necessary to speed up the vaccine drive."
Delhi is vaccinating people in the age group of 18-44 in about 100 schools for now. This figure will be increased to 300, he mentioned.
In the last few weeks, India saw a frightening surge in Covid cases, which has put a tremendous burden on hospitals. SOS messages on social media - from hospitals, patients and their families for medical oxygen and other resources - caught the world's attention. This morning, India's total cases surged to 2.18 crore with 4.01 lakh fresh infections. Delhi has been one of the worst-hit cities amid the second wave.
On Friday, however, Arvind Kejriwal said the city's oxygen crisis has been resolved. "Now there is no lack of oxygen in Delhi. We should have enough oxygen beds so that no patient is deprived," he said.
The Supreme Court has told the central government to ensure 700 tonnes of medical oxygen for the city every day.
In the last 24 hours, the city recorded 341 coronavirus deaths and 19,832 cases, taking the active caseload past the 91,000-mark.