COVID-19 Update

Telangana’s three-day campaign to vaccinate high-risk groups kicks off

Published : May 29, 2021 16:43 IST

A health worker inoculates a man with a dose of Covishield vaccine during the special vaccination drive in Hyderabad on May 29. Photo: NAGARA GOPAL

Telangana’s ambitious three-day campaign to administer COVID-19 vaccines to around 7,87,000 individuals it has categorised as belonging to “high-risk groups” got off the ground on May 28. The first day of the campaign saw the State administer 96,199 COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Telangana’s ambitious three-day campaign to administer COVID-19 vaccines to around 7,87,000 individuals it has categorised as belonging to “high-risk groups” got off the ground on May 28. The first day of the campaign saw the State administer 96,199 COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The K. Chandrashekar Rao government has identified shopkeepers in grocery stores, liquor shops and non-vegetarian markets, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) delivery staff, drivers of autorickshaws and cabs, petrol station attendants, workers at fruit, vegetable and flower markets, street vendors, e-commerce delivery partners, and postal and bank employees under the category “high-risk groups”.

Journalists, who the Telangana government had recognised as COVID-19 frontline workers on May 26, will also be vaccinated along with the high-risk groups. Around 20,000 journalists are expected to be vaccinated.

Among the 7,87,000 individuals from the high-risk groups, 300,000 are taxi and autorickshaw drivers; another 300,000 are workers in saloons, vegetable, meat, grocery and flower markets; 80,000 are employed in civil supplies; and 30,000 are active in the fertilisers and pesticide business.

With nearly half of the 787,000 individuals from these high-risk groups residing in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits, the ambitious campaign will be an extended one. The Corporation is planning to vaccinate 30,000 vendors every day over the next 10 days. Kicking off the campaign in Hyderabad, Sanitary Field Assistants and other staff members belonging to the GHMC issued tokens to people belonging to these high-risk groups at different locations in the city. Armed with these coupons, they can visit designated vaccination venues to take the jab.

But the campaign will have to overcome the major hurdle of procuring sufficient vaccines doses. Telangana, which relaunched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on May 25 after a 10-day lull, managed to administer just 51,815 and 53,311 doses on May 25 and May 26 respectively and 42,202 doses on May 27.

According to Dr G. Srinivasa Rao, Director of Public Health, Telangana had a stock of 618,000 doses of Covishield and 250,000 doses of Covaxin as of May 26. The State is expecting a consignment of another 335,000 doses of Covishield and 250,000 doses of Covaxin during the first week of June. As of May 29, the State had administered 58,72,698 COVID-19 doses. A total of 1,240,113 individuals have received both doses of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Telangana reported 3,527 new cases of COVID-19 on May 28 after conducting 97,236 tests. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation reported 519 new cases, followed by Nalgonda (218), Khammam (215), Rangareddy (207) and Medchal Malkajigiri (188) districts.

The cumulative tally of COVID-19 cases in the State now stands at 5,67,517, while the total number of casualties since the pandemic began is 3,226. The number of active COVID-19 cases in the State is 37,793.

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