Delhi recorded 1,044 cases of Mucormycosis or Black Fungus and 89 deaths due to the infection till Wednesday, state Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.
Noting that the states must be provided the required number of Covid vaccines, the minister said the vaccine policy of the Centre needs to be reworked.
“I think it is high time to rethink this policy (Centre’s vaccination policy) and rework it. When a state is ready to vaccinate its citizens then that state must get the required number of vaccines,” he said.
While stressing that the Delhi government is fully prepared to vaccinate its entire population, he said they are not getting the required doses to do so.
“We are buying these vaccines and giving them for free to the citizens but due to the policy of the central government, we are not getting the required amount of vaccines,” he said.
“The whole control over the vaccines and the price of the vaccines are with the central government. The cost of the vaccines in the private hospitals is also monitored by the central government,” he added.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said if the city government could not ensure that people get both doses of Covaxin within the stipulated time, it should not have started so many vaccination centres with “much pomp and splendour”.
“I understand that many people who have taken the first jab of Covaxin are not getting the scheduled second jab in Delhi. The situation has become like this because of the mismanagement of the central government,” he said.
“They have changed the schedule of vaccination. If the central government had given us the required number of vaccines, then no problem would have happened. But they are not providing vaccines,” he added.
“We are hopeful that people who are waiting for the second dose of Covaxin will get it as early as possible,” he told reporters.
Mr Jain was also questioned about the cases of Black Fungus in the national capital, which Delhi has already declared as epidemic.
Mucormycosis or Black Fungus is more common among people whose immunity has got lowered due to Covid, diabetes, kidney disease, liver or cardiac disorders, age-related issues, or those on medication for auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Till Wednesday, 1,044 Black Fungus cases were reported in Delhi.
“Out of these 1,044 cases, around 92 patients have recovered fully and around 89 people have lost their lives due to Black Fungus,” he said, pointing out that there is a shortage of medicines to treat the infection.
Experts have said that considering the rate of the spread of infection in Delhi, 80 per cent of the population might have already been infected by Covid.
“Maybe this is true if experts have said it. We will conduct a sero survey of the population again and it will make things clear,” he said.
According to the fifth sero survey, conducted between January 15 and January 23, around 56 per cent of Delhi’s population have developed antibodies against the deadly virus.
Delhi reported 576 fresh coronavirus cases and a positivity rate of 0.78 per cent on Wednesday.
“For the last three days continuously, the positivity rate in Delhi has been under one per cent. In this phase of Covid pandemic, Delhi witnessed over 28,000 cases in 24 hours on a day but now the number of cases is coming down which is a good sign.
“Before this second phase of the pandemic in Delhi, there was time when the daily cases used to stay within 200. My appeal to every citizen is that please maintain social distancing, wear a mask all the time and wash your hands from time to time, he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)