PUNE: Maharashtra has received 1.10 crore doses of anti-COVID 19 vaccines so far, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday amid reports that the state is facing an acute shortage of the doses which is hampering its vaccination drive.
Speaking to reporters, Javadekar said apart from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajashtan are the two other states that have received more than 1 crore doses. He also said over 1,100 ventilators will be made available for Maharashtra, which is worst-affected by COVID-19 pandemic, in the next three days.
He said that oxygen supply has also been routed from the industrial production units. "As per the statewide report till 6 pm on Friday, Maharashtra has received 1.10 crore doses. There are only three states that have received over 1 crore vaccine doses in the country. They are Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajashtan," Javadekar told reporters after attending a review meeting with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar here.
When asked about the blame game between the Centre and the state government over the availability of vaccine doses, the BJP leader said this is not the right time to do politics. "When we will have to do politics, we will give a proper answer to that allegations. There is nothing greater than the interest of the people in the current situation," he said.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had alleged that many states, which are smaller than Maharashtra in terms of population and the number of patients, have received more doses of vaccine. The state government had feared that the healthcare system will be overwhelmed if the cases continue to rise.
A shortage of ventilator beds is being reported from various parts in Maharashtra, which has 5,34,603 active cases at present.
Acknowledging the shortage of ventilators in Maharashtra, the Information and Broadcasting minister said, "I held a detailed discussion with concerned officials and ministers. 1,121 ventilators will be made available for Maharashtra in the next three to four days. 700 ventilators would be coming from Gujarat and 421 from Andhra Pradesh."
Javadekar also said that oxygen supply has also been routed from the industrial production units and the Centre would help the state to get this oxygen supply. He said that the Centre would provide funds for the manpower required for testing, tracking, tracing and treating patients from the National Health Mission.
"We consider this (pandemic) as a national calamity. All the states and people belong to us, so attention and solutions will be provided to those areas where the situation is critical," he said.
Javadekar said more than 30 teams were sent to Maharashtra for reviewing the pandemic situation in various districts and they are considering measures to tackle the prevailing situation. "In Pune also, a team under IAS officer Kunal Kumar has arrived and held a meeting with officials," he added.
Maharashtra's cumulative caseload reached 32,88,540 on Friday, while the death toll stood at 57,329, as per the state health department. The state has been recording more than 55,000 cases over the past few days.
In a bid to tackle the spike in cases, the state government had imposed various restrictions, including night curfew which will remain in force till April 30, besides weekend lockdowns from Friday night to Monday morning every week.