Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: IMA Urges PM Modi to Open Vaccinations for All Citizens Aged Above 18 as Covid Cases Spike

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Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: The Indian Medical Association has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open vaccinations for all citizens aged above 18 as coronavirus cases continue to spike in the country. At present, vaccination is available for all those above 45 years of age. "Vaccination against COVID stands as a single evidence based resource for us to restrict the cases by raising the personal immune response and pave way for herd immunity to decrease the severity of the disease. We have covered total 7.91 crores of population with Covid vaccination till date, out of which 6.86 crores have received their first inoculation & 1.05 crores with second dose. In view of the rapid spread of the second wave of the disease, we suggest that the our vaccination strategy needs to be geared up with immediate effect on war foot," the association said.

Apart from lowering the age limit, the body also suggested walk-in COVID vaccination should be available for all, free of cost at their nearest possible place and private sector family clinics also shall be included actively in the vaccination drive along with private hospitals. "Vaccination certificate shall be made a mandatory certificate for entering in to public places and receive products under public distribution system. As there is acute spurt of this disease as an measure to immediate break the chain , limited period continuous lock down shall be implemented especially for all the non-essential areas like cinema, cultural and religious events, sports."

India crossed the grim milestone of over 1 lakh daily Covid-19 cases, the highest ever rise since the pandemic began. Lockdown is back in Maharashtra but in a curtailed form — 'mini-lockdown' of sorts. The Uddhav Thackeray government has ordered to impose complete lockdown this weekend from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday. Only essential services and transportation including buses, trains, taxis will be permitted.

The announcement has come as a shock for the hospitality industry, which had slowly started recovering after last year's lockdown. A Mumbai-based news organisation quoted the members of the industry as saying that their businesses have been stalled again by the 'night curfew', which is as good as a lockdown as the bulk of their business starts only after 8 pm.