Tikka Utsav? Take the shot, Man

IFP EDITORIAL: Amid reports of vaccine shortages and the strike by JNIMS employees, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren took his shot of the Covid 19 vaccine at JNIMS hospital and appealed to the general public to get themselves vaccinated during the Tikka Utsav. We sincerely hope there are enough vaccines in stock at the various health facilities.


Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh (Photo: Twitter)

The Indian State has a unique way of dealing with the Covid 19 crisis right from the beginning with even calls for beating thalis and lighting candles on auspicious occasions. Now, just as the complaints of states on shortage of Covid vaccines come in, a Tikka Utsav or Vaccination festival was announced starting Sunday.

Sidestepping the daily surge of more than 1,50,00 positive cases, it chose to highlight the achievement of the “fastest country in the world” to administer more than 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, amid a deadly second wave of infections. It achieved the feat in 85 days, whereas the US took 89 days and China 102 days, the Health Ministry said. One would think, what is there to celebrate in the juggling of numbers and percentages or comparisons with other countries.

This week, half a dozen states reported a shortage of doses even as the national government insisted that it had 40 million doses in stock and that the “allegations” of vaccine scarcity were “utterly baseless”.

India on Sunday reported 1,52,879 new Covid-19 cases and 839 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. The total number of cases in the country now stands at 1,33,58,805 and the death toll has risen to 1,69,275. There are 11,08,087 active cases at present while as many as 1,20,81,443 people have recovered from the disease. At least 10,15,95,147 people have been administered the Covid-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, a four-day-long ‘Tika Utsav (vaccine festival)’ for COVID-19 from April 11 to April 14 is being held across the country from Sunday, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with state chief ministers to help people eligible for vaccination to get immunised during the period.

The Prime Minister chose to give a meaning to the vaccination drive as April 11 and April 14 are the birth anniversaries of Jyotirao Phule and BR Ambedkar.

The five states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala cumulatively account for 70.82 per cent of India’s active COVID-19 cases which have breached the 11-lakh mark for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday. India’s total active caseload has increased to 11,08,087 and it now comprises 8.29 per cent of the country’s total infections. A net increase of 61,456 cases has been recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours. Maharashtra alone accounts for 48.57 per cent of the total active caseload of the country, the ministry said.

Amid the recent strike by employees of JNIMS, Imphal, state Chief Minister N Biren Singh took his shot of the Covid 19 vaccine at JNIMS hospital and appealed to the general public to get themselves vaccinated during the Tikka Utsav. We sincerely hope there are enough vaccines in stock at the various health facilities. There might be misgivings or reluctance among members of the general public as to the safety of the shot, which needs to be clarified. Now that the chief minister himself and other ministers have taken the shot, it would be a lot easier to convince the public.

-Editorial

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First Published:April 12, 2021, 12:34 a.m.

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