In order to boost the countrywide anti-coronavirus inoculation drive, the Centre on Thursday notified all state governments to keep all public and private sector COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) operational throughout April, including on gazetted holidays. Additionally, the Centre has also ordered states and union territories to make necessary arrangements to encourage the vaccination process.
The union health ministry informed that the move has been taken after detailed deliberations with states and union territories on March 31.
"This decision is in line with the graded and pro-active approach employed by the government of India along with the states and UTs for COVID-19 vaccination," the ministry added.
The ministry also said the move will help to optimally utilise all COVID-19 Vaccination Centres across the public and private sectors and will ensure the pace and coverage of COVID vaccination.
The government opened up the COVID-19 vaccination drive to include everybody above 45 years of age on April 1 based on a recommendation of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC).
Currently, the rapid increase in daily active cases in the country has triggered a fear of a new wave. On Thursday, India reported 72,330 fresh infections. It is the biggest daily surge in Covid cases since early October. Several major states, including Maharashtra and Karnataka, have continued to witness an exponential rise in coronavirus cases in the past 20 days.
Five states -- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh -- have cumulatively accounted for over 79 per cent of the total COVId-19 active cases in the country, according to the health ministry. Therefore, to contain the further threat of virus, the ministry has taken the decision to stimulate the vaccination facility throughout April month without any hindrances.
More than 6.5 crore (6,51,17,896) vaccine doses have been administered through 10,86,241 sessions across the country so far.