RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday urged the Centre to provide the required stock of COVID-19 vaccines for a week in advance and sough reduction in the GST rate on medicines and devices used in the treatment of the infection, officials said.
Baghel made these demands while speaking at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference meeting with chief ministers to discuss the COVID-19 situation and progress of the vaccination drive, a public relations department official said.
In the meeting, the chief minister requested the Centre to provide one week of required vaccines stock in advance as this would facilitate smooth vaccination in remote districts, he said.
The CM urged the Centre to reduce the GST rate on medicines and devices used in the treatment of COVID-19, saying it would reduce financial burden on coronavirus patients.
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Baghel also sought the Centres support for continuous supply of Remdesivir injection and oxygen cylinders, setting up of four virology labs and 1,000 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in view of the rising COVID-19 cases in the state, the official said.
Briefing about the vaccination coverage, the Chief Minister said in Chhattisgarh, the first dose of vaccine has been given to 87 per cent of the healthcare workers, 84 per cent of the frontline workers and 43 per cent of the people above 45 years of age.
Till April 7, as many as 33.61 lakh vaccine doses have been given to people in the state, he added.
In Chhattisgarh, 2,04,420 tests are being done per 10 lakh population, while at the national level 1,89,664 tests are being conducted per 10 lakh population, he said.
The RT-PCR test percentage in the state was 26 per cent in October 2020, which has increased to about 40 per cent in April 2021, the CM said in the meeting.