MUMBAI: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday rejected the Centre's claim that more than five lakh vaccine doses were wasted in the state, the worst hit by COVID-19 in the country.
Tope contested the figure put out by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on vaccine wastage, saying it was not correct.
"Wastage quoted is actually national average wastage percentage. State wastage is lesser than half of the national average wastage percentage," Tope tweeted.
On Thursday, Javadekar had saidthe Maharashtra government should not play politics over vaccination.
Giving figures, Javadekar had said the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses supplied to the state till date was 1,06,19,190.
"The consumption was 90,53,523 (of which 6% per cent wastage - over 5 lakh), Vaccine in pipeline - 7,43,280 andDosage available - nearly 23 lakhs," the Union Minister had tweeted.
Maharashtra, reeling under a spurt in COVID-19 cases, has sought more vaccine supplies from the Centre.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday dismissed as "farce" the "hue and cry" by certain states about partisanship by the Centre and called it an attempt to hide their own incompetence, saying non-BJP ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan figured among the top three states based on allocation of vaccines.
As COVID-19 cases in India hit a record high, Vardhan said that 9.1 crore vaccine doses have been utilised, while 2.4 crore are in stock and 1.9 crore vaccines are in the pipeline, indicating there are sufficient doses available for all states.
"Hue and cry by certain states about partisanship by the Union government is just a farce, an attempt to hide their own incompetence. Maharashtra and Rajasthan are 2 of the top 3 states based on allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses."
"Both are non-BJP governed states," Vardhan said in a tweet.
Releasing the figures, he said in another tweet, "Let's put an end to fear mongering now! #COVID19 vaccine doses: total administered: 9 cr+ In stock/nearing delivery to states: 4.3 cr+ Where does question of shortages arise? We're continuously monitoring and enhancing supply."
In a strongly worded statement Vardhan on Wednesday hit out at Maharashtra and some other states, accusing them of trying to cover their "failures" and spreading panic among people by demanding vaccination of all without inoculating enough of eligible beneficiaries.
People above the age of 45 are currently eligible for vaccination.
Vardhan also said the allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless and the states, including Maharashtra need to improve the implementation of their testing and containment strategies and vaccination drive.
He said the "lackadaisical" attitude of the Maharashtra government has "singularly bogged down" the entire country's efforts to fight the virus.
Meanwhile, several vaccination centres across Mumbai, including a jumbo COVID-19 facility in business district BKC, suspended inoculation on Friday morning due to a shortage of doses, BMC sources said.
The remaining centres are likely to suspend the vaccination drive by afternoon or evening as the available stock is fast depleting, according to the sources.
Meanwhile, Mumbai is expected to get up to 1.80 lakh fresh doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Friday, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) executive health officer Mangala Gomare told PTI.
According to the sources, as many as 75 of the 120 centres, mainly at private hospitals, suspended vaccination on Friday morning due to unavailability of doses, while some other centres suspended the drive within a few hours after the stock got over.
The jumbo COVID-19 centre at BKC, where the civic body has set up a mega inoculation facility, also suspended vaccination after administering less than 200 doses available in stock, a doctor from the centre said.
On Thursday, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar had told PTI that due to a shortage of doses, the vaccination drive will come to halt at all centres in Mumbai from Friday, and sought immediate supplies to replenish the existing stock.
The civic body of Mumbai had claimed it had suspended vaccination at 25 centres in private hospitals on Thursday due to unavailability of doses.
Asked about the situation, Gomare said the centres where vaccine doses have run out of stock have suspended the drive, but exact details were not available.
Pune's Municipal Corporation has also temporarily halted its vaccination drive for today as there is no stock of vaccines available with the corporation.
In an official order by the corporation on Thursday, it read, "COVID-19 vaccination to remain suspended in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on April 9 as there is no stock of vaccines is available with the corporation. The process to get the vaccine stock is underway and vaccination shall resume as soon as vaccines are received."
Maharashtra reported 56,286 new COVID-19 cases, 36,130 recoveries, and 376 deaths in the last 24 hours, the state health department informed on Thursday.
According to the state government's data, the active number of COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 5,21,317.
Out of 56,286 new COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, 8,938 cases were reported in Mumbai and 12,090 in Pune. The total count of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai now stands at 4,91,698 while the active COVID-19 cases in Pune is mounted to 89,598.
(With PTI Inputs)