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Manipur running short of Covid-19 vaccines, govt denies

Except a few government-run hospitals like Khumbong Primary Health Centre, Public Health Centre, Phayeng and other district hospitals, almost all the private hospitals in Manipur have stopped vaccination over the last few days.

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Imphal: Several hospitals in Manipur have run out of vaccines against Covid-19, exacerbating a dire second wave of infections that has left hospitals, both private and state-run, overflowing while families scramble for increasingly scarce medicines and oxygen.

Except a few government-run hospitals like Khumbong Primary Health Centre, Public Health Centre, Phayeng and other district hospitals, almost all the private hospitals in Manipur have stopped vaccination over the last few days. This scarcity of vaccines has forced hundreds of people queuing up in front of government-run hospitals from early morning to get registered for vaccination.

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 “Around 350 – 400 used to get vaccination earlier, but we’ve stopped it over the last few days,” a spokesperson of Shija Hospitals and Research Institute told The North East Affairs.

What’s worrisome is the fact that the ambitious Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccination for all adults above the age of 18 years which was supposed to be started from May 1 has stopped due to unavailability of vaccines, sources said.

A top health directorate officer, meanwhile, denied the report contending Manipur has enough stock of vaccines. However, he agreed that the state government hasn’t yet received any vaccine for the third phase of Covid-19 vaccination, yet the state government has already deposited the required money to the concerned firm.

The state has already received over 4 lakh doses of vaccines from the Centre, which again distributed them among various centres including 30 District hospitals, 25 private hospitals, 17 Community Health Centre and 85 Primary Health Centres across the state, said Dr K Rajo, Director, Manipur Health Directorate.  There is, however, specific instruction for vaccination of one hundred persons per hospital in a day only, he added.

On the spike in active caseload in Manipur over the past few days despite having a semi-lockdown across the state, the officer said that there are a number of factors but human behaviour is the major factor for the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in the state. People now wear a face mask, unfortunately, they do not maintain proper social-physical distancing and wash hands regularly, which are very important measures to curb the virus, he added.

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