Inoculation for 18-45 age group to start when doses become available: Goa CM amid rising COVID cases in state

PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said the state will start inoculation of those in the 18-45 age group against COVID-19 “as and when” vaccine doses are available.

The Union government earlier this month opened up vaccination for the entire adult population starting from May 1, but several states are facing supply constraints.

Sawant said theGoa government has placed an order of five lakh doses with the Serum Institute of India, maker of Covishield vaccine.

“Vaccination for the 18-45 age group will progress as and when we receive the doses,” he said in a statement.

The Centre liberalised vaccination roll-out on demand by state governments for more freedom in choosing vaccines and planning, Sawant said.

“Now it’s the duty of our state to procure vaccine and plan successful inoculation. Both these will happen in stages,” he added.

For the ongoing vaccination drive covering healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 45, Goa has received over 4.3 lakh doses so far, the chief minister said.

“We have administered a first dose to over 2.5 lakh people and second one to over 68,000. We have over 1.1 lakh doses available with us for further vaccination,” he added.

With the addition of 3,019 coronavirus cases on Thursday, Goa’s overall infection count went up to 88,028, a health department official said.

The death toll mounted to1,146 as 36 patients succumbed to the viral infection during the day, he said.

This is for the second consecutive day that the number of coronavirus cases in the coastal state remained above the 3,000-mark.

On Wednesday, it had reported 3,101 cases, while on Tuesday, the count was 2,110.

As 914 patients got discharge from hospitals on Thursday, the recovery count mounted to 65,984.

There are 20,898 COVID-19 active cases in the state at present, the official said.

“As 5,910 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, the overall test count of the state went up to 6,46,059,” he added.

Goa’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 88,028, new cases 3,019, death toll 1,146, recoveries 65,984, active cases 20,898, samples tested till date 6,46,059.