LUCKNOW: To ensure availability of adequate doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Uttar Pradesh, the state government has ordered 50 lakhs doses of Covishield and Covaxin each from manufacturing companies.
Covishield is manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech Limited.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, the UP government said that in pursuance with the Centre's order, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is planning to take the vaccine across the state in an organised manner.
The state government has already offered the vaccine free of cost to everyone over the age of 18 from May 1, it said.
The immunisation programme is going on at a rapid pace in the state, it said.
So far, 1,17,77,209 vaccine doses have been given in the state.
This includes 97,79,846 first doses and 19,97,363 second doses, the statement said.
Dr RK Dhiman, Director, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), said, "We can avoid hospitalisation by getting vaccinated. Not only this, the death rate also decreases. In such a situation, it is very important for us to get vaccinated."
Adityanath also directed authorities to ensure that last rites of the COVID patients are performed at cremation grounds and graveyards according to their religious beliefs with strict COVID protocol in place.
Taking cognisance of the complaints received from various districts in this regard and Terming the practice of extorting money from the relatives of dead COVID patients "inhuman", he took cognisance of complaints received over the issue and warned of stern action against erring officials.
The UP government also said that the central government has taken several steps to ensure uninterrupted supply and effective management of medicines, oxygen and other essential medical devices which are useful in treatment of corona patients.
The Centre has also increased Uttar Pradesh's quota of the Remdesivir injection to 1,61,000 vials until April 30.
The state has received 1,22,000 vials of the medication so far.
Adityanath ruled out any shortage of the anti-viral drug at COVID-dedicated hospitals, noting that it was being provided for free to the patients in government hospitals.
He also said that private hospitals would be provided the drug by the central government at permissible rates.
He called for reviewing the demand and supply of Remdesivir and maintaining transparency in its distribution.
Meanwhile, Zydus Cadila Company's new drug 'Virafin', which is considered successful in the treatment of COVID patients, will soon be available in three districts of UP, -- Lucknow, Varanasi and Allahabad.
The new medicine is expected to be available in one COVID hospital in each of the three districts in the next two-three days, the statement said.
The chief minister said that amidst growing corona infections in the country, India's scientists are working overtime to find alternative treatment options in the vast world of medicine.