India to carry out nationwide dry run of Covid immunisation drive on Jan 2
Publish- December 31, 2020, 10:09 PM
S Kumar - UNB Delhi Correspondent
Update- December 31, 2020, 10:15 PM
People wait in line to take COVID-19 test at a health centre in Hyderabad, India. India's COVID-19 tally crossed the 1.5 million-mark on Wednesday, reaching 1,531,669, announced the federal health ministry. Xinhua File Photo
After a successful two-day dry run in four states, India will carry out a second such drive across the country on Saturday to check the preparedness for a nationwide Covid-19 inoculation programme.
This was announced by the Indian Health Ministry on Thursday, after the Health Secretary chaired a high-level meeting with top officials of all the states and the central government-controlled territories.
"Around 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for this dry run. An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse events following immunisation," read a statement from the Ministry.
This drive will also test the operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) application in the field environment, it added.
On December 28-29, the Indian government carried out a similar dry run in the states of Punjab in the north, Assam in the northeast, Andhra Pradesh in the south and Gujarat in the west.
Each of the four states had carried out the dry run in two of their districts to check the preparedness in various types of medical settings such as district hospitals, rural and urban community health centres and private hospitals.
The two-day dry run also focussed on cold storage and transportation arrangements for the vaccine, crowd management at immunisation sites as well as dealing with any post-vaccination complications.
Earlier this month, Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said that the government would start the vaccination drive in the next six to seven months.
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended three prioritised population groups, including healthcare workers (about one crore), frontline workers (about one crore), and senior citizens for phase 1 of vaccination.