CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has directed the Additional Chief Secretary of Health and Family Welfare department Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra to file an affidavit indicating how many elderly and differently-abled persons are yet to be vaccinated. Hearing a PIL on Tuesday, the Court asked Mohapatra to spell out what steps the government plans to take in a time-bound manner to cover this entire population, in the affidavit by October 4.
The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice B P Routray issued the direction after taking note of the affidavit filed by Mohapatra in response to the PIL seeking vaccination facility at the doorstep of elderly and differently-abled persons. The PIL was filed by lawyer Sohan Mishra.
The bench observed that statistics enclosed with Mohapatra’s affidavit only inform about how many people have received their first and second vaccination doses. According to it, 34,09,117 citizens aged 60 years and above have been vaccinated with the first dose of Covid vaccine and 17,65,909 with second dose against an estimated target of 44,57,353 citizens, by September 4.
The bench also observed that it is not clear whether the number of persons in the ‘target population’ of 60 years and above, has been arrived at on the basis of Census data of 2011. “For the 2021 figures, the numbers must be based on some projection. How these figures have been arrived at, is therefore not clear. Besides, the figures do not address the issue of differently-abled persons”, the bench observed. The bench directed that the affidavit should also indicate the number of elderly persons in old age homes so that directions can be issued to their management to ensure vaccination of the inmates.