Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday urged the people to donate generously to intensify the vaccination drive against Covid-19 and make it a “mass movement”.
Sarma said that if people curtail their expenditure on birthdays or other personal events slightly, they could save precious lives or help people prevent the dreaded disease.
While addressing the media, the Chief Minister said that one dose of Covaxin costs Rs 800, while Covishield is priced at Rs 600 per dose. Many people have the ability to donate such an amount and feel glad by serving a needy person, he said.
Sarma also said that people must not think that the state government is a facing fund crunch for vaccination, as his appeal is for making the inoculation drive a ‘mass movement’.
“It is the government’s basic responsibility to immunise people against Covid-19,” he said.
Sarma further said that Reliance Industries has contributed Rs 15 crore, teachers are contributing their one-day salary, while the MLAs are also donating to strengthen the fight against the pandemic.
“Reliance Industries has 39 petrol pumps in Assam and it has decided to provide 50-litre of fuel from each pump per day to the vehicles used in Covid management work,” the Chief Minister said.
Admitting that there is a shortage of vaccines across the country, Sarma said that in Assam, 35 lakh vaccines have been administered so far.
“Presently, we are administrating around 50,000 vaccines per day,” he said.
“In Assam, there are around 1 crore people in the first category (18 to 44 years) and over 1.20 crore people in the second category (45 and above). Around Rs 600 to 800 crore will be required to vaccinate the second category,” the Chief Minister added.
Sarma also said that around Rs 119 crore is there in the Assam Arogya Nidhi and the amount would be used to purchase vaccines.
From the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Rs 50 crore has been given to the Arogya Nidhi, he added.