First dose of vaccine suspended due to shortage
The Health Department in Assam has suspended the first dose of Covaxin until sufficient stocks are available.
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The decision on Friday coincided with the relaxation of pandemic-induced curfew by an hour in the State and a directive to not allow home isolation for COVID-19 positive people with comorbidities.
“We are expecting a batch of 50,000 Covaxin doses for the 18-44 age group in about a week. We have about 20,000 doses but have given priority to those who have to get the second jab within 42 days,” State Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said.
He added that Assam has about 3.2 lakh doses of the Covishield vaccine for the 45-plus group.
Mr. Mahanta also said the government had fixed the maximum rate private hospitals can charge per day for COVID-19 treatment following complaints of overcharging and non-acceptance of payment other than in cash.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, meanwhile, directed the Health Department not to allow home isolation for COVID-19 patients of any age group with comorbidities and refer them to institutional quarantine. A standard operating procedure is expected soon.
Earlier, only people above 50 years were not allowed home isolation if they had comorbidities.
“Institutional quarantine has become necessary for bringing down the positivity and mortality rate,” Dr. Sarma said.
Late on Friday evening, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority issued a modified set of restrictions relaxing curfew hours in the urban and rural areas by an hour while extending the partial lockdown to June 16 with effect from June 6.
According to the notification, shops and commercial establishments can now shut down at 12 noon instead of 11 a.m. on all days of the week. The curfew period for all except essential services has accordingly been reduced by an hour from the earlier timing of 12 noon to 5 a.m.
Assam has so far reported 4,28,913 positive cases of coronavirus and 3,577 fatalities.
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