India Boosting Vaccination to Prevent Another Wave of Infections
(Bloomberg) -- India has scaled up vaccination for its 1.3 billion population, apart from boosting heath care infrastructure as it prepares for a third wave of coronavirus infections, Baijayant Panda, vice president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said.
“The biggest bet of course we are making is that our vaccination roll out has been scaled up enormously,” the BJP leader, known as Jay Panda, said in an interview to Bloomberg TV Asia on Monday. “By end of the year, we hope to have a majority of Indians vaccinated.”
India is battling the world’s worst outbreak of Covid-19 with hospitals running out of beds and oxygen supply, even as crematoriums remain overwhelmed. The government’s Principal Scientific Adviser K. VijayRaghavan has warned of a third wave as the virus mutates further.
More than 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines will be available in India between August to December this year, which will be sufficient to vaccinate the entire adult population, V. K Paul, a member of the government think-tank Niti Aayog, said last week. India has administered 182.9 million jabs so far.
The country is scaling up beds and critical care in hospitals, including ventilators and oxygen supply, Panda told Bloomberg TV. Vaccination production is being ramped up, he said, adding the country may not need a nationwide lockdown unlike last year.
India reported 281,386 new infections and 4,106 deaths on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Covid-19 was spreading rapidly in rural areas and asked villagers in the world’s second-most populous nation to follow precautions.
As India reported record numbers of new infections in recent weeks, opposition leaders blamed Modi for premauterly declaring victory against the virus and accused him of doing little to help the nation’s states tackle the pandemic.
Panda said while there is “some kind of focused narrative” to blame Modi for everything, the reality is he took early steps to boost health infrastructure and rolling out the vaccination drive.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.