India's Covid vaccination drive proceeding smoothly: Union Minister Jitendra Singh

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New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said that India's vaccination drive against Covid is proceeding smoothly despite its large population of over 135 crore and heterogeneous character.

The minister of state for personnel also said that India was the quickest to administer 100 million doses of vaccine and fastest to begin vaccinating those above the age of 18 years.

'Instead of politicising the issue, we should all collaborate to make India’s vaccination drive a mass movement,' Singh said.

The initial hesitancy or apprehension about taking vaccine has also been overcome, he said.

Singh said that in every part of the country today, all eligible age groups are turning out in huge numbers for inoculation.

'India’s vaccination drive is unmatched in its scale and despite a large population of over 135 crore and heterogeneous character of the country, the vaccination drive is proceeding smoothly,' he said.

In Jammu and Kashmir alone, around 66 per cent of the population above 45 years of age have received their first dose of vaccine, the minister said.

Singh said the second wave of the Covid pandemic has further reiterated the need to receive vaccines for all eligible persons.

From the end of April and beginning of May, entire Jammu and Kashmir, particularly Jammu district, has shown increased positivity rate and increased mortality rate, he said.

It became a matter of concern for the administration and also caused apprehensions in society, he said, adding that over the last one week, there has been a downward trend in these parameters.

Singh said the mortality rate in Jammu and Kashmir peaked around May 17, but is now showing a progressive decline.

Referring to reports about the Northeast turning into a hot spot, he said that there is no doubt that in recent times north eastern states, which had remained unaffected in the first wave, have shown a steep rise in Covid positive cases.

But preparedness and the infrastructural capability is in place along with satisfactory handling of the situation and tremendous amount of confidence, the minister said.

Singh said that over 71 lakh persons have already been vaccinated in the north eastern region with the maximum number being from Assam. PTI AKV AKV ANB ANB ANB