India’s Maharashtra state, where the country’s highest new daily coronavirus cases are being reported, has asked the central government to increase vaccine supply amid a shortage, the state’s minister of health said.
“Many vaccination centers are having to shut down because they haven’t received sufficient vaccines, people are coming to the centers but our healthcare workers have to tell them that they haven’t received the vaccine so they should go home,” Maharashtra’s Minister of Health Rajesh Tope told reporters Wednesday.
Tope said he has requested the central Indian authorities to supply more doses of the Covaxin and Covishield vaccines. “In both cities and villages, we have created teams… to bring all those above 45 years old to take the vaccine,” he added. “We have had a fast mobilization of recipients but haven’t received enough vaccines.”
On Tuesday, Maharashtra state recorded 55,469 new cases, nearly half the new cases across the whole country, according to the state health department. Mumbai, the state capital, recorded 10,030 new cases on Tuesday, according to the city administration.
Kishori Pednekar, the mayor of Mumbai, said the shortage comes at a time when there is rising trust in Covid-19 vaccines. “People want to take the vaccine quickly,” she told local media. “We are facing shortages of both Covishield and Covaxin, till yesterday we had only 176000 doses of Covaxin left, at this rate it will become difficult to provide even the second dose of the vaccine to those who have already received the first.”
Maharashtra has administered the highest number of vaccine doses of any state, with 8,127,248 people receiving the first dose of the vaccine, the Indian Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
Second wave grips the country: India on Wednesday reported over 115,000 new cases of coronavirus, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health. The country has seen a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases since March.
Several Indian cities and states have reinstated coronavirus restrictions in the second wave. Maharashtra has imposed weekend lockdowns and curfews, the union territory of Delhi has ordered a night curfew, and in the western state of Gujarat, a night curfew has been implemented in 20 cities.