Karnataka to buy 1 crore of Covishield vaccine doses for Rs 400 Crore


BS Yediyurappa chaired a meeting of ministers in Bengaluru on Thursday to assess the situation (File)


The government of Karnataka decided on Thursday to buy 1 crore of doses of Covishield vaccine at a cost of Rs 400 crore.

“The Chief Minister has approved the purchase of 1 crore of doses of Covishield vaccine at a cost of Rs 400 crore, in the first phase. This will be used for the vaccination of people between 18 and 44 years old,” his office said in a statement.

The Serum Institute of India (SII), based in Pune, is the manufacturer of the Covishield vaccine.

The central government recently announced that vaccination of people over the age of 18 would begin nationwide from May 1 as part of the third phase of the vaccination campaign.

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With the government giving manufacturers and importers freedom of pricing, SII said the Covishield vaccine would be priced at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 for private hospitals.

Mr Yediyurappa, upon his discharge from hospital earlier Thursday, where he had been on treatment for Covid-19 for six days, said the pandemic situation had gotten “out of control”.

He chaired a meeting of ministers in Bengaluru on Thursday evening to assess the situation in the city.

At the meeting, Health Minister K Sudhakar informed that the problem of oxygen and medicine shortage in the city has been resolved, a CMO statement said.

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He also clarified that there was no shortage of vaccines, he said.

It was also decided at the meeting to strengthen fever clinics in the city, test people with fever and other symptoms, and give them appropriate advice, so that only those who need it can be hospitalized. The Chief Minister gave instructions to strengthen the helpline, aimed at immediately responding to the problems faced by the population.

It also issued instructions on the priority given to the treatment and teleconsultation of people isolated at home and to monitor them. He has also been tasked with ensuring that private hospitals reserve beds for patients with COVID and the Deputy Commissioner of Police for the respective areas has been instructed to visit hospitals in this regard.

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Nodal agents have been tasked with managing COVID in their respective areas.

The chief minister also called on officials to take action to boost morale among health workers.

It was also decided to make the necessary alternative arrangements to keep the bodies in the crematoria, as the queue of ambulances carrying them to the crematoria for hours resulted in their shortage.

Volunteer help with COVID management, if any, will be taken, the statement said.