Vaccines, beds: States face shortage amid Covid-19 surge

Maharashtra is staring at a shortage of both beds and vaccines. With the state estimated to record around 60,000 new cases daily for next few days, a bed shortage may just be 7-10 days away.

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s meeting with Chief Ministers on managing the Covid-19 surge, a look at some states, their issues with beds and vaccines, and their demands of the Centre.


Odisha only has three days’ stock left for vaccinations. It urged the Centre Wednesday to provide 15-20 lakh advance doses of Covishield. “As on April 6th, we have stock of 3,47,180 doses of Covishield and 1,36,820 doses of Covaxin vaccine with peripheral Cold Chain Points. Presently, there is NIL stock of Covishield vaccine in all Regional & District vaccine stores…,” said a letter from the state Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Secretary. “We have closed 400 vaccination centres and the target is unattainable with the current shortage,” said Bijay Panigrahi, Director, Health and Family Welfare department.


Maharashtra is staring at a shortage of both beds and vaccines. With the state estimated to record around 60,000 new cases daily for next few days, a bed shortage may just be 7-10 days away. The state is opening more Covid care centres in rural areas and roping in private hospital beds. It is also vaccinating more than 4 lakh people per day. But its stocks (over 13 lakh doses) will last just three days. Seeking fresh supplies, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said people have had to be turned away from various vaccination centres. On Wednesday, amid the shortage, Tope also demanded the Centre allow vaccination of the 20-40 age group.


Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Wednesday that at least 2 lakh daily doses should be administered in Punjab henceforth. “This will create a shortage for us. At this rate of 2 lakh per day, we have doses only to suffice two more days. We have already written to Centre seeking for 8 lakh doses more.” said Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, Punjab’s nodal officer for Covid-19. The CM has sought that the vaccine should be allowed to those below 45.


As of April 6, the state had 29,960 active cases, but only 4,725 are in hospitals or treatment centers. Health department sources said Kerala has ample stock of vaccine (15,49,570 doses) with the arrival of 9,51,500 doses of Covisheld on April 5.


Gujarat has been seeing more than 3,000 daily fresh cases since Monday. Across the state, 63 per cent of the beds dedicated to Covid-19 are occupied, said Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. Several hospitals in Ahmedabad are running at nearly 80 per cent capacity or more, as of Wednesday morning. Gujarat immunisation officer Nayan Jani said the state has a vaccine stock of approximately 15 lakh across six regional stores and no special request for more vaccines has been made to the Centre.


With a surge in Covid 19 cases since March 29 there is growing pressure for hospital beds in Karnataka— especially in Bengaluru. If cases continue increasing by 4,000-5,000 everyday in the city for a few more weeks, hospitals could get overwhelmed, say health department officials. The Karnataka government has re-issued orders claiming 50 percent of beds in private hospitals for government-referred patients. The state Health and Medical Education minister has appealed to the Centre to provide more doses.


Officials say that there are sufficient vaccine doses for the those aged 45 and above. But these people account for about 25 per cent of the state’s population. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has appealed to the Prime Minister to remove the vaccine age bar.

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