Days before India opens COVID-19 vaccination programme for everyone above 18 years of age, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the national capital currently doesn't have vaccines for inoculating the 18-45 age group.
"We don't have vaccines as of now. We have made requests to the company regarding vaccines, we will tell you when it comes," news agency ANI quoted Jain as saying in response to a question on inoculating those above 18 years of age.
Everyone in the country above the age of 18 years would be eligible to get COVID-19 vaccination from May 1 under the phase III of the vaccination programme. The Centre has permitted vaccine manufacturers to release up to 50 per cent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price. States have also been empowered to procure additional vaccine doses directly from the manufacturers, as well as open up vaccination to any category of people above the age of 18 years for the same.
Earlier this week, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that the government will provide COVID-19 vaccine for free to everyone above 18 years of age in the national capital, and the Delhi government had approved purchase of 1.34 crore vaccines.
On COVID-19 cases in Delhi, Jain said the daily positivity rate had not fallen below the 10-day average during the last one-and-a-half months. However, it has been below for 3 days now. "So we can see a ray of hope, it seems the positivity rate will gradually come down here," he said.
Delhi reported 25,986 new COVID-19 cases and 368 deaths due to the infection on Thursday, Positivity rate stood at 31.76 per cent. Shortage of hospital beds, medicines and oxygen have been reported from across the national capital because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.