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Ramping Up Covid Vaccination in Hills Ahead of Polls

IFP Editorial: Elections cannot be postponed at any cost except in times of war or emergency. So, the state health machinery needs to speed up the vaccination process in a war footing, so as to ensure public safety while also fulfilling constitutional obligations.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 7 Feb 2022, 11:38 am

(File Photo: IFP)
(File Photo: IFP)

 

Now that elections to the Manipur Legislative Assembly are round the corner, state Governor La Ganesan had been seeking the help of religious leaders of various faiths with the aim of ramping up Covid 19 Vaccination, more particularly in the hill districts of the state.

Elections are scheduled to be held in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur this year. The Election Commission of India had earlier written to the chief secretaries of these five poll-bound states, asking them to “accelerate” the pace of Covid-19 vaccination. The poll panel expressed concerns over the low percentage of the first dose coverage in Manipur.

Vaccination in the valley districts had been going on well, while the hill districts are lagging behind in both first and second doses, more particularly in Ukhrul, Kangpokpi and Senapati districts. In Ukhrul, it is only 28.85 pc for first dose and 20.18 pc for second dose. In Kangpokpi, it is 21.24 pc and 14.27 respectively which is extremely low. In Senapati district, it is 34.16 pc and 26.52 pc which is slightly better than the other two districts.

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Also Read: Omicron and low vaccination in Manipur

But, the daily vaccination is moving at a snail’s pace. Except for Chandel and Churachandpur with 70.83 pc and 59.33 pc respectively in the first dose, the other hill districts of Kamjong, Noney, Pherzwal, Tamenglong and Tengnoupal remains under 50 pc in the first dose. Overall, the cumulative percentage for the first dose is 59.42 while for the second dose it is 45.79.

In the last 24 hours, the number of daily positive figures has come down to 201 with a daily positivity rate also coming down to 10 pc. However, there is no let-down in daily deaths.

Meanwhile state Governor have had two rounds of meeting with religious leaders and attended by state top ranking health officials.

Also Read: Vaccination and human rights

In November, Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced a target of achieving 100 per cent vaccination for Covid 19 in the state by Christmas and he had sought the help and cooperation of the Church, village chiefs or headmen and hill based civil society organisations. But, the percentage of overall vaccination rate in the state had moved only an inch. So, what is stopping the state or district administrations from increasing the rate of vaccination like others have done. Perhaps, the fault lies in the lack of initiative or innovation on the part of the district administrators.

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Elections cannot be postponed at any cost except in times of war or emergency, as the Election Commission of India is duty bound to uphold the Constitution of India. So, the state health machinery needs to speed up the vaccination process in a war footing, so as to ensure public safety while also fulfilling constitutional obligations.

Also Read: Now, a sub-variant of Omicron

Of course, there is vaccine hesitancy among the general population and recently some Ukhrul CSOs had made an appeal against forced vaccination. On the other hand, the Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (TNWL), the apex body of the Tangkhul headmen on Thursday lauded the district healthcare workers for their services rendered in the district and also made a call to every eligible population of the district to get vaccinated.

The apex body also urged healthcare workers to refrain from random vaccination drives before educating the people first through wider advocacy, so that various notions doing rounds in the minds of the people are cleared and their fear attached with the jab is addressed. It is indeed interesting and encouraging.

_Editorial

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First published:7 Feb 2022, 6:06 am

Tags:

covid-19vaccinationvaccinemanipur polls

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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