No vaccine, no offline classes; 15 lakh doses required; 5 lakh doses stocked
Bengaluru: The State Government has decided to vaccinate all college students above 18 years of age on the single day, said Deputy Chief Minister & State COVID-19 Ministerial Task Force Chairman, Dr. C.N. Ashwathanarayana.
Addressing media after convening a meeting with officials of Departments of Health and Medical Education here yesterday, he said the Government is planning to open all degree colleges and professional colleges from August and wants to inoculate all the students before July 31. This will require 15 lakh doses and has already stocked 5 lakh doses. More stock of vaccine is expected in the coming days. A mega vaccination drive will be held during the first or the second week of July and all the students will be vaccinated on one day across the State. The vaccination drive will be held in the campus of universities or the colleges. Students can take the vaccine in their respective colleges. Those who will not take vaccine will not be permitted to attend offline classes.
He said decision to vaccinate the college students has been taken as per recommendations of the Expert Committee on third wave of COVID-19 headed by Dr. Devi Shetty. The colleges have not been opened since last one-and-a-half-years and the classes were held online. Barring final semester, students of all other semesters are promoted to next classes without holding the examinations. The vaccination drive for Higher Education students has been initiated on June 28 (Monday) and 94,000 students have been vaccinated on the first day. The authorities concerned have been directed to vaccinate all students under this group within 10 days.
Dr. Ashwathanarayana said as many as 60 lakh vaccines have been supplied to the State during June and this will be increased in the coming months. As of the date, Karnataka stands third in the country, in the overall achievement with respect to vaccination and other parameters of COVID management.
He said oxygen generation capacity will be enhanced by 400 MT. This comprises 250 MT in hospitals coming under the Department of Health and the remaining in Medical College Hospitals and Private Hospitals and also arrangements made by District Commissioners under Disaster Management Act.
Similarly, Oxygen storage capacity will be increased by about 2500-2800 MT. This consists of 1806 MT in hospitals working under the Department of Health, 500 MT in Medical College Hospitals. Each district hospital will have a minimum of 20 MT oxygen storage capacity and Taluk Hospital will have a minimum of 6 MT capacity. Global tenders will be floated to procure tankers which are essential to store liquid oxygen. Authorities concerned have been directed to increase the oxygenated beds to 84,000 from the existing 58,000 beds. Private Hospitals without oxygen storage facilities have already been issued notices, and they have to mandatorily make arrangements by August end.
Oxygen Cylinder Refilling Plants will be given financial aid to double their capacity and refilling facility will be set up in 9 districts which do not have oxygen refilling facility at present.
Javed Akthar, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Dept. of Health, Vandita Sharma, ACS & In-Charge of Vaccination, Anil Kumar, Secretary, Dept. of Medical Education, Manish Moudgil, In-Charge of Oxygen facility, were present.