New Delhi, Jan 16 : India is set to witness a historic moment on Saturday with the commencement of the most-awaited vaccination drive against the dreaded coronavirus disease, with over three lakh people to be inoculated with doses of either Covaxin or Covishield.
The world’s biggest vaccination drives comes almost a year after the first coronavirus case was detected in India, which then claimed over 1.5 lakh lives and infected one crore people. The first case came to the fore on January 30, 2020 in Kerala. The vaccination drive will mark the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually launch the world’s largest vaccination programme at 10:30 a.m. and almost three lakh beneficiaries, belonging to the priority groups, will be administered the silver bullet at over 3,006 vaccination sites across the country. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site.
Two vaccines — Oxford Covid vaccine Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and indigenously developed Covaxin by the Bharat Biotech — will be administered to priority groups. So far, the Central government has procured 1.1 crore Covishield and 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines at a cost of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively.
In Delhi, which has 81 vaccination sites, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been allotted to six Centre-run hospitals including, while 75 Delhi government and private hospitals will receive Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca with Serum Institute of India.
The vaccine will be first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below 50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.
The vaccination drive has been planned in a phased manner, identifying the priority groups. Healthcare workers, both in government and private sectors, including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, will receive the vaccine in the first phase.
Earlier on Friday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that India’s exercise to vaccinate its population against Covid-19 will be the largest immunisation drive in the world. The minister reiterated that both the indigenously manufactured vaccines have proven to be safe.
The Covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system, a digital platform, will be used to track the enlisted beneficiaries on a real-time basis. Prime Minister Modi will launch the app today.
The platform enables national and state administrators to view and sort the data of the beneficiaries as per their gender, age and comorbidity. They can also view the metadata of vaccination and the Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) reported from the constituent districts.
At the vaccination site, only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated as per prioritisation, and there will be no provision for on-the-spot registrations. A dedicated 24×7 hotline – 1075 – has also been set up to address questions related to the vaccine rollout and the Co-WIN app.
The entire vaccination process will be broadly similar to the election process. Each vaccination team will consist of five members, including security personnel, nurses, paramedics and a doctor. Three will be a waiting area, an inoculation room and a post-vaccination observation area. There will also be a reception desk for registration and verification of the beneficiaries.
Notably, only those above 18 years will be vaccinated. Pregnant women or who are not sure of their pregnancy and lactating mothers should not take the vaccine. Those with a history of bleeding or coagulation disorder will be administered the vaccine with utmost caution.
Vaccination will have to be deferred for four to eight weeks after recovery of patients with active Covid symptoms, or those who have been given plasma therapy, and those who are unwell or have been hospitalised for any other reason.
The second dose of the Covid vaccine will be administered after an interval of fourteen days. Also, interchanging Covid-19 vaccines is not allowed.
The mild adverse impacts of the Covishield vaccine could be headache, fatigue, pain in muscle, injection site tenderness, weakness, pyrexia, chills, arthralgia and nausea.
Railways spent INR 69.5 lakh to ‘catch rats’ in Lucknow reveals RTI
RTI Query revealed that Lucknow division of Northern Indian Railways spent INR 69.5 Lakh for catching 168 rats, India Today reported.
In a startling revelation, the Lucknow division of Northern Railways in India has spent an unbelievable INR 69.5 lakh (approximately $93,000) between 2020 and 2022 to catch a mere 168 rats. This translates to a staggering INR 23.2 lakh (around $31,000) per year or over INR 41,000 (around $550) for every rodent. The extravagant expenditure on pest control has come to light as a result of an RTI query which had been filed by activist Chandrashekhar Gaur.
According to India Today, the response to Gaur’s RTI application has raised eyebrows and left taxpayers hacing doubts about the effectiveness of resource utilization within the Indian Railways. While pest and rodent control typically fall under the category of primary maintenance, it is extremely essential to dissect the exorbitant expenses which have been incurred by the Lucknow division of Northern Railways.
The information provided in the answer to the RTI inquiry indicates that the Lucknow division spent INR 69.5 lakh between the years 2020 and 2022, yet only 168 rats were actually seized. When these figures are broken down further, they become significantly more baffling. Rats were trapped in numbers ranging from 83 in 2020 to 45 in 2021 to 40 in 2022. The decreasing numbers, in spite of continued spending, highlight the ineffectiveness of the pest control strategy.
The controversy arose after the RTI query which revealed that the division had spent a staggering INR 69.5 lakh. The division’s statement sheds light on the nature of their rat control efforts as well as tries to put the expenses, which appear enormous, into perspective.
According to Railways statement cited by India Today, the Indian Railways went on to provide additional context, highlighting that the expenditure needs to be viewed in the context of the enormous number of coaches they have the responsibility to maintain. With an average of 25,000 coaches addressed every year, the approximate cost for rodent control per coach comes to a just INR 94.
The statement further mentions that this is a “very minimal cost considering the damage and destruction which can be caused by rodents.”
However, it is important to note that the Railways declined to respond to Chandrashekhar Gaur’s question about the cost of damage that was caused by rats, citing that no damage assessment had been carried out. The claim that trapping one rat costs INR 41,000, as was previously reported, is flatly refuted by the Indian Railways division in Lucknow. The information provided has been dismissed as a misrepresentation of reality as well as distortion of facts intended to harm the credibility of Indian Railways, according to the Railways statement.
Thief fails to rob bank, leaves note praising ‘good’ security system
After failing to open the lockers, a criminal recently applauded a bank for its security. On Thursday, August 31, the burglar attempted to break into a bank in Telangana. But he was unable to open the lockers, therefore he was unable to obtain even a single rupee. The robber left a message stating that he was impressed with the security system, “My fingerprints will not be there. Great bank. Please don’t catch me because I couldn’t get a single rupee.
According to reports, the incident occurred on Thursday night at a Telangana branch of Grameen Bank. The staff of the bank found the note when they arrived on Friday morning and realised that there was an attempt to rob the bank. The burglar’s movements were captured on CCTV surveillance cameras, but the thief was cautious enough to cover his face, said police. The police suspect the thief to be a local and not a banker.
The employees of the bank confirmed that all the valuables present in the bank were intact.
Woman’s head crushed by vehicle after she sticks her head out of bus to vomit
In Delhi’s Alipur neighborhood, a 20-year-old lady trying to vomit out of a bus window was killed when her head was crushed by an approaching vehicle while she was traveling to meet her brother in Punjab for Raksha Bandhan, according to police as reported by ANI.
According to the police, the victim was identified as Babli, a resident of Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh.
Police on Wednesday received the information about the incident from the Satyawadi Raja Harish Chandra Hospital (SRHC) hospital in Narela where the victim had been taken in an injured state.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (outer north) Ravi Kumar Singh said that by the time police reached the hospital, the 20-year-old was pronounced dead.
During the investigation, it was revealed that Babli was travelling from Pratapgarh to meet her brother in Ludhiana, Punjab. She had taken a Haryana Roadways bus from Kashmere Gate ISBT and was accompanied by her sister Poonam and brother-in-law Santosh, and their three children.
According to the police, the deceased felt sick near the Alipur area and stuck her head out of the bus window to vomit when an oncoming vehicle crushed her head from the driver’s side.
“A legal action is being taken in the matter. The CCTV footage is also being checked to identify the offending vehicle and its driver,” said the police.
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