Kerala begins talks with vaccine firms as Covid TPR touches 20%

After raising a banner of protest against the Centre for not providing Covid vaccines, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said steps have begun to procure vaccines to be administered for those in the age group 18 to 45.

Vijayan made the announcement while informing the media that the day saw a record 26,995 people turn Covid positive after 1,35,177 samples were sent for testing.

“At present, there are 1,56,226 active cases, while 11,60,472 people have been cured,” he said.

He said that even as the state has approached the Centre to provide free vaccines, “since time is precious, we have set the ball rolling to procure vaccines”.

“Even while we wait with expectancy for a positive reply from the Centre, if we wait endlessly, we might not be in time to get the supplies from the manufacturers. If it comes from the centre, well and good.

“The vaccines that the state government procures will be for use in state-run health centres, while the private sector can buy their requirements,” he added.

In reply to a question on the statement from medical professionals that there should be a slowdown in the mass testing being presently undertaken, Vijayan said it was unfortunate that such a statement has come.

“It was an unnecessary statement from the professionals but we are going ahead with it (mass testing),” he said.

He also asked all to ensure that they observe strict Covid protocols, saying that is the only way to see the spread is kept to the minimum.