Relax Criteria, Can Vaccinate Entire Delhi in 3 Months: Kejriwal

30,000-40,000 vaccines are being administered per day. We will increase this to 1.25 lakh vaccines per day.”

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India
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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Centre on Thursday, 18 March, to relax the vaccination eligibility criteria and open it for all, except for those below 18 years.

If the eligibility criteria is relaxed and there's a sufficient supply of doses, we can vaccinate the entire population of Delhi in three months, Kejriwal said in a video address.

"Vaccine production has increased, so I request the Centre that vaccines should be opened now. Instead of making a list as to who all are eligible, we should make a list as to who all are ineligible. Vaccination must be permitted for everyone else... The system should be decentralised and states should be allowed to vaccinate on a war footing, in their own way," he was further quoted as saying, also calling for the decentralisation of vaccination prices.

‘Vaccinations to Be Increased to 1.25 Lakh Per Day’

The Delhi CM's address comes amid a surge in coronavirus cases in India in the last couple of days, led by Maharashtra. Delhi has also seen a slight increase in the number of daily infections.

On Wednesday, the national capital reported 536 new cases, the highest in about two-and-a-half months.

While acknowledging the rise in cases in the capital, Kejriwal on Thursday said there's nothing to worry about, adding that directions have been issued for strict enforcement of COVID-19 safety norms and for strict implementation of tracking, tracing and isolation of positive cases.

Appealing to everyone eligible to get themselves vaccinated without hesitancy, Kejriwal said, "30,000-40,000 vaccines are being administered per day, as of now. We will increase this to 1.25 lakh vaccines per day. In the next few days, we are increasing our capacity."

"Vaccination is being done in about 500 centres in Delhi, it'll be doubled to 1000. In centres, especially government centres, vaccination is being done from 9 am to 5 pm. Now the hours are being increased from 9 am to 9 pm so that more and more people can be vaccinated," he was further quoted as saying.

“I appeal to Centre that their current guideline for vaccination centres is very stringent. We now have two months of experience in vaccination. So we’re writing to Centre to relax some parameters so that vaccination can be done at more centres. We’ll take all precautions.”
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, as quoted by ANI

India on Thursday reported 35,871 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily number since December, taking the tally to 1,14,74,605. The death toll increased by 172 to 1,59,216. Maharashtra has led the states contributing to the fresh COVID surge, having recorded more than 23,000 cases on Wednesday.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)

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