Industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has urged the government to open up vaccination for the age group 18-45 years. While assuring the government of complete support of the industry in fighting coronavirus, FICCI also asked the Centre to ramp up coronavirus testing access states.
FICCI said that there is much more scope of testing considering around 15 lakh samples were being tested in a day in January but currently 11 lakh samples are only being tested. "We are currently testing about 11 lakh samples a day, while we had reached the level of testing 15 lakh samples a day in January. Further, there is capacity to perform many more tests with 2,440 labs in the country operational for COVID testing, including more than 1,200 from the private sector," said FICCI President Uday Shankar in a letter to Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Shankar said that states could use the facilities in the private sector to the maximum to achieve the desired testing capacity. The FICCI President said that vaccination should open up for the 18-45 years age group as this group has been acting as superspreaders of the infection in the country.
"Given that there is no shortage of vaccines and there is a huge scope of augmenting inoculation capacity through greater involvement of private sector, we urge you to open up vaccination for this age group to help subside the spread of infection as well as the severity of cases in the country," he added.
India saw the highest number of coronavirus cases in six months in the last 24 hours with 89,129 new coronavirus cases and 714 deaths. However, the vaccination drive is going full swing too. More than 7.3 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far, out of which 31 lakh doses were administered in the last 24 hours. In the latest phase that started on April 1, everyone above the age of 45 years are now eligible for vaccination.