Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the entire population of the state can be vaccinated in 3 months against COVID-19 if the Centre relaxes the eligibility criteria for vaccination.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said the country has taken a lead in manufacturing vaccines, but there is a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The Centre, he said, should open vaccination for all and a negative list should be prepared for people under 18 years of age or those suffering from certain medical conditions, who can't be vaccinated. Barring those in the negative list, everyone should be able to walk in to a vaccination centre and get the vaccine.
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"If vaccination is open for all and we have sufficient supply, then we can vaccinate entire Delhi in 3 months," Kejriwal said.
देश में बढ़ते कोरोना मामलों के मद्देनज़र दिल्ली में वैक्सिनेशन को अब युद्ध स्तर पर बढ़ाया जाएगा | Press Conference | LIVE https://t.co/DuvBFAiFfC- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 18, 2021
He appealed to Centre to decentralise vaccination process and let the states take it up on war footing in a way they deem fit.
Currently, besides the healthcare and frontline workers, people aged above 60 years and those in 45-60 years age group with co-morbidities are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
Delhi is currently vaccinating 30,000-40,000 people daily and the government has made plans to increase it to 1,25,000 people everyday and the number of vaccination centres will also be increased, Kejriwal said.
On the rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi, he said there has been a slight surge, but the situation is not too worrisome as the number of positive cases are much lesser as compared to the peak last year when 6,000-7,000 cases were being reported daily.
On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 506 new COVID-19 cases.
The state government is consulting medical experts and taking all the necessary steps to check the rise in new cases, Kejriwal said. Besides, tracking, isolation and surveillance system is also being strengthened to stop the spread of infections. The government will also strictly enforce mask wearing and social distancing norms, he said.