Odisha to Speed Up Vaccination Drive as COVID-19 Cases Surge

The Odisha Government has embarked on a mission to vaccinate teachers aged above 45 years of both government and private schools as part of a massive immunisation drive starting April 1. This decision was taken due to the rising COVID-19 cases seen in several educational institutions across the State.

Prem Chandra Chaudhary, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner, addressed the media today saying that teachers aged above 45 years of both government and private schools, street vendors, staff at malls, restaurants and state electricity department will be administered with COVID-19 shots on priority.

“We have prepared a list of around 20,000 people belonging to the five categories and targeted to cover all of them in the vaccination drive in a month or two,” said Chaudhary. He further added, “A massive vaccination drive will begin on April 1. The number of tests will also be increased to curb the spread of the virus. A target has been set to conduct 6,000 COVID-19 tests daily in the state capital.”

The BMC has been working towards resisting the virus as new cases have been reported from Balaji Complex Apartments and ODM school. Chaudhary informed that all have been quarantined and contact tracing is underway. These places have been sealed.

After a few months of relief, Odisha has seen a resurgence of the virus, especially at educational institutions.

National Institute of Technology (NIT) Rourkela has recently been shut after 14 students tested positive for COVID-19 on campus. Similarly, XIMB and Bhawanipatna Private College were also sealed after several students tested positive.

Notably, Odisha has stored 17 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses. So far, the State has received 40 lakh doses and administered 23 lakh. The state government aims to administer two lakh vaccinations per day from April 1.

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