Oxygen shortage to vaccine shortage
Medical oxygen shortage. ICU bed shortage. Now vaccine shortage. Perfect script for the virus to wreak havoc and claim more lives and this is what is being witnessed across the country right now. A clear indication that India horribly failed to read the situation correctly and brace itself for the second wave, which is synonymous with global pandemic. There were no orders and India’s COVID-19 vaccine shortage would continue till July-This was the CEO of Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawala, which makes Covishield. This is a scary proposition and as reported earlier in The Sangai Express the expanded vaccination drive, which has included those between the age of 18 and 44, is yet to kick off in Manipur and no one seems to know when it will start. This is what is extremely disturbing to note. Forget about the 18 to 44 age group, does the State have enough stock to vaccinate all those above 45 as was previously targeted ? Will Manipur have enough stock for people above 45 needing the second shot anytime now ? Only the Government can answer this, but the very fact that these questions have been raised should leave no one in doubt that much more needs to be done to take the fight to the virus. The Government cannot be caught sleeping but judging by the way in which reports of bed shortage in hospitals across the country and medical oxygen shortage have come pouring in, suffice it to say that the Government has been caught sleeping red handed and the price paid can be seen from the huge number of deaths reported daily from across the country. Back home, Manipur has seen a surge in the daily number of deaths as well as in the number of positive cases and it is amid this reality that reports have come in that the shortage of vaccines will stretch up to July.
Hitting new highs that is and on May 3, the number of positive cases in the last 24 hours was 362 with 7 persons falling prey to the virus. Vaccine was the mantra that everyone was looking forward to in 2020 and after the Government rolled out the vaccination drive for the elderly in January this year, it was the silver lining that everyone was looking forward to. And remember in January the second wave was yet to hit India and there was no story of shortage of medical oxygen and shortage of beds in the hospital ICUs. Fast forward to April and May and now the country is hit not only by the second wave but also by the inability of the infrastructure to meet the demand for medical oxygen and beds in the ICUs. Top this off with the statement of the CEO of Serum Institute of India that the vaccine shortage will stretch into July and things certainly do not look good for the country. The same will befall Manipur and this is where the call for everyone to strictly adhere to the SOPs laid down by the Government and health experts becomes all that more important. However the daily report on the number of people pulled up and the fines collected from them tell a story that some just do not seem to care and this is what is totally unacceptable.