Raipur: Responding to union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan’s statement that the Chhattisgarh government is spreading misinformation and panic on Covaxin, Chhattisgarh health minister TS Singh Deo said on Wednesday that the statements are completely contrary to the data provided by his own Ministry and the union health minister should not mislead people.
Slamming the state government, the union health minister on Wednesday said in a tweet “The Chhattisgarh government refused to use #Covaxin despite being granted emergency use authorization by DCGI. The state government is not only putting people's lives in crisis by its actions, but is also giving the wrong message in the world.”
“I am astonished that a learned and erudite person like Dr Harsh Vardhan is making statements which are completely contrary to the data provided by his own Ministry. He has also been appreciative and encouraging of our efforts as lately as in the video conference on April 6”, said the health minister in his statement.
Responding strongly to Vardhan’s allegations regarding covid vaccination, Deo said “primary data to answer this allegation is available on COWIN database (as on 7th April 05:00 pm) which clearly states that Chhattisgarh has achieved 10 percent population coverage in administration of the first dose of vaccine. This places Chhattisgarh in top position in the country along with Kerala and Gujarat in terms of first dose vaccination coverage with only small states like Sikkim, Tripura, Lakshadweep and Ladakh being ahead.”
Standing still on his initial objections regarding Covaxin, the health minister said “My objection had been that there is an international protocol in place regarding Vaccine trials. From the time Clinical Trial Mode was withdrawn by DCGI, Chhattisgarh has also allowed administration of COVAXIN”, he said in his statement.
Responding to the second allegation regarding extraordinary reliance on Rapid Antigen Tests and some vague connection to extraordinarily high number of deaths due to it, the minister said “we are testing more than 40,000 people on a daily basis and our attempt is to find and locate and provide immediate treatment to all positive patients in our state. We have reduced our percentage of Anti-gen tests from 80% in October 2020 down to 59% as on April 7. We are constantly increasing our RTPCR testing capacity with 4 new labs scheduled to be operational this week and 5 more labs are also being established.”
“As per ICMR protocol every symptomatic Anti-Gen negative case is followed up by RT-PCR test to ensure that we do not miss a single positive case”, he added.