After the 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 doorstep. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar flagged off ''Vaccine Express'' in the presence of Deputy Chief Ministers - Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi and state health minister Mangal Pandey.
The Chief Minister praised the health department for the innovative idea of running vaccine vans in cities to speed up inoculation of a larger section of the population. Similar vans were run for the rural areas of the state in end May.
In his speech, Nitish Kumar said, a total of 718 vaccine vans are moving around in the villages and similarly 121 such vehicles will start taking the rounds at different localities in urban areas to help people get the jab. The Chief Minister said that every van is tasked with inoculating 200 people daily. He added that the state government is aiming to vaccinate maximum number of people by the end of the year.
Bihar has been vaccinating people in the age group of 18-44 and those above 45 years simultaneously. In a bid to expedite testing, the state government had recently launched vans in the rural areas to do RT-PCR tests of a larger number of people. Such vans are conducting around 1,000 RT-PCR tests daily.
The second wave of COVID-19 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 deaths were reported and 1,158 people have tested positive.
According to the health department, the number of deaths were 5,268, a rise of 46 since Tuesday, while the total number of confirmed cases stood at 7.09 lakh. The number of COVID-19 patients who recovered stood at 6.91 lakh. The recovery rate was over 97 per cent. Bihar has 12,590 active cases at present.