A total of 7, 93,7 10 healthcare workers in the state including the staff of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) planned to receive the vaccine in the first phase in Karnataka. The state which boasts one of the largest cold chain infrastructure, received a total of 6.48 lakh doses of the Covid 19 vaccine on January 12 from the Serum Institute of India.
Karnataka State Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar has said, “We have two vaccine storages each in Bengaluru and Belagavi. Apart from this we have five regional storage centres at Chitradurga, Kalburgi, Dakshina Kannada, Mysuru and Bagalakote. We also have a Corporation storage facility in every district, BBMP has 50 blocks and totally we have 2,767 cold chain points. So all these will be utilised to distribute vaccines.”
As a part of the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP), Karnataka possesses a total of 2,870 cold chain points across 30 districts for the vaccination drive. The points are located in medical colleges, district and taluk hospitals, primary health centres (PHC) and community health centres (CHC). Reportedly, ten per cent of the country’s cold chain points are located in the state. With a geographical area of (sq km)192,000, Karnataka has the lowest unemployment rate in India. The state is an information technology (IT) hub of India. Reportedly, the state is India’s largest software exporter with software and service export totalling $77.80 billion (for 2018-19). The state’s capital Bangaluru is one of the most developed cities and centre of India’s high tech industry. Recently, the state government has launched “Mission Bengaluru 2022” with the target to revitalise Bengaluru into a sustainable, connected city enhancing the quality of life of its citizens by 2022.
At the peak of the lockdown in April 2020, the joblessness rate in Karnataka was 29.8 per cent – way above the national average at the time, 23.5 per cent. This suggests the scale at the which the workforce had been impacted because of the corona virus pandemic. As the lockdown was eased and the digital and IT services sectors picked up pace quicker than the manufacturing sector, the state saw a drop in unemployment. (In august it touched a low of 0.5 per cent as per CMIE stats). The vaccination drive is only going complement the already stable working atmosphere present in the state.
The state government has played a significant role in easing the working environment. During the beginning of the lockdown, the Karnataka government announced measures like the payment of two months of social security pension in advance, the release of Rs 1,000 per person to about 21 lakh construction workers and waiving of Rs 13.20 crore loan under “Badavara Bandhu” scheme, among others. Moreover, a fully equipped control room was set up in 24 hours in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in early March which helped in contact tracing, among many other measures. Such control rooms were then established for crisis management throughout the state after their success in Bangaluru. B.S. Yediyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka, says, “Several reforms were undertaken in Karnataka and the state topped in FDI receiving over INR 1.54 lakh crore proposals. We mitigated the pandemic & ensured that development works do not halt.”
For the vaccination drive, in fact, Ben galuru, state’s capital, was among the 11 cities that received the first consignment of Covishield. The Bangalore Medical College was where the vaccination drive kicked off in the state. The campus has 11 vaccination centres where more than 6,000 people will be vaccinated within ten days.
Each centre has been geared with a specialist to tackle any kind of anaphylactic reaction. During the entire process, the vaccination team at each centre will have five members, two security personnel to validate the identity of the beneficiary and three nurses to vaccinate and observe the healthcare professional after the process is complete.
Sudhakar said, “In the entire country, maximum number of people have taken the vaccine yesterday in our state. The vaccines are safe and the vaccination drive in the state has been going on successfully.”
As per the stats shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India, at the time of filing the story, the number of active Covid-19 cases 7004 while the number of fatalities is 12190.
Yediyurappa said in a recent tweet, “We are grateful to all our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, frontline workers, and all corona warriors for their unparalleled selfless service during this pandemic. I wish each one of you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021 ahead.”