Karnataka Govt Decides to Purchase 1 Crore Doses of Covishield Vaccine at Rs 400 Crore

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The Karnataka government on Thursday decided to purchase 1 crore doses of Covishield vaccine at a cost of Rs 400 crore. "The Chief Minister has approved the purchase of 1 crore doses of Covishield vaccine at a cost of Rs 400 crores, in the first phase. This will be used for vaccination of persons between 18 to 44 years," his office said in a statement.

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is the manufacturer of Covishield vaccine. The central government had recently announced that vaccination for those above 18 years will begin across the country from May 1 as part of the third phase of the inoculation drive.

With government giving manufacturers and importers pricing freedom, SII has said that Covishield vaccine will be priced at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 for private hospitals. Yediyurappa, on getting discharged from hospital earlier today, where he was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 for the last six days, said the pandemic situation had become "uncontrollable".

He chaired a meeting of Bengaluru ministers this evening to assess the situation in the city. At the meeting, Health Minister K Sudhakar informed that the issue of shortage in oxygen supply and medicine in the city has been resolved, a CMO release said.

He also clarified that there was no shortage of vaccines, it said. It was also decided at the meeting to strengthen fever clinics in the city, test those with fever and other symptoms, and to give them appropriate guidance, so that only those in need can be hospitalised.

The Chief Minister gave instructions to strengthen the helpline, aimed at immediately responding to issues faced by the people. He also issued directions on giving priority to provide treatment and teleconsultation for those in home isolation and to keep vigil on them.

It was also directed to ensure that private hospitals reserve beds for COVID patients and Deputy Commissioner of Police for respective zones were instructed to visit hospitals in this regard. Nodal officers have been made responsible for COVID management in their respective zones.

The Chief Minister also asked officials to take up morale-boosting measures among healthcare staff. It was also decided to make necessary alternative arrangements for keeping bodies at crematoriums, as queuing of ambulances carrying them at crematoriums for hours has resulted in their shortage.

Help of volunteers for COVID management, wherever required, will be taken, according to the release.

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