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With Social Awareness

A total of 2,444 cold chain points had been identified at district hospitals and community health centres for administering the vaccine to prevent infectious disease.

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The largest state in India, Rajasthan sees a strong participation from various social groups along with ex-ministers and expublic officials extending their support towards making the vaccination program a success in the state. Believing in the need to make citizens aware of the vaccination process, the state held an orientation programme for elected representatives to equip them to generate awareness among people. 

Earlier, in fact, Rajasthan is the first state to complete a social audit of Covid-19 welfare programmes with the help of non-government organisations to bring transparency in public spending. Reportedly, for the drive more than 18,000 people have been trained, which includes social health activists, school teachers and anganwadi workers. 

A total of 2,444 cold chain points had been identified at district hospitals and community health centres for administering the vaccine to prevent infectious disease. The state has the target to cover 4.5 lakh health workers in the first phase of vaccination.

“Everyone was eagerly waiting for this day. Finally, the vaccine is out. Vaccination would take place at 167 booths.It would take one to one-and-half-a-year to vaccinate everyone. Until then, we need to continue to follow Covid related protocols,” says Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. 

The first phase of the vaccination in Rajasthan is taking place at 282 session sites. The storage of Covid-19 vaccine is located in three districts viz. Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur – all three have air connectivity. Moreover, according to the Rajasthan government, of the session sites, two sites including Jaipur and Ajmer will be interactive with facilities of two-way audio-video facility. 

Pandemic Impact 

Rajasthan, with its historic palaces and desert locations, is one of the leading tourist destinations in the country. Travel and tourism, is one of the worst affected sectors because of Covid-19 and since it plays a critical role in the state’s economy, needs steady recovery from the Covid-19 impact in order to be back on track. As per a report, in  the year 2014-2015, for tourism based programmes the allocation was 61.12 crores which has increased to 114.45 crores in the year 2019-20 - shows the scope for growth in the sector and the government commitment towards it. 

Some of the other key industries that the state excels in are Cement, IT and ITeS, ceramics, handicrafts, chemicals, textile, marble and steel. Before the pandemic hit, as per a report, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Rajasthan was estimated to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.63 per cent (in Rupee terms) between 2015-16 and 2020-21. 

Among several measures taken by the state government for Covid-19 relief, it had declared reimbursement of the State GST share to hotels and restaurants, and relaxations in vehicles tax Rajasthan government had announced a one-time compensation amount of Rs 1,000 to 25 lakh for construction workers and BPL beneficiaries, registered street vendors under social security schemes, and a fresh relief amount of Rs 1,000 to 35 lakh for needy families affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. The vaccination is likely to further ease the hurdles the sector has been facing because of the pandemic. 

Global organisations are also playing a role in order to make the drive successful. UNICEP, WHO and UNDP are going to extend technical assistance to the state government. 

Vaccination Prepartion 

The state conducted a dry run at 18 places in seven districts in the first phase on January 2nd and at 102 places in all districts across the state on January 8. 

Health Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma had stated earlier: “3,689 medical institutions in the government sector and 2,969 medical institutions in the private sector have been identified for the vaccination programme in the first phase and 5,626 vaccination parties have been trained.” This is to ensure smoother implementation of vaccine rollout. As per the latest information the orientation of 1,66,188 people in 10  categories including public representatives has been done so far. 

Gehlot has recently said in a tweet, “We have reasons to be optimistic in Rajasthan with low infection and lowest mortality rates but my appeal to all is, please keep following health protocols and taking precautions as the threat of corona is still there. Seek your cooperation to win this battle with Covid-19.” 

Reportedly, at the time of filing the story, the number of active Covid-19 cases in the state stood at 3934 while the number of people who died from Covid-19 in Rajasthan were 2756. 

“We as a nation have suffered a lot on all fronts due to the outbreak of Covid- 19. I am thrilled that now we have developed vaccines in India, says Gehlot. He also congratulated researchers who were behind the development of the vaccine: “Congratulations and appreciate the efforts of our scientists, researchers and experts of Bharat Biotech & Serum Institute of India for producing the Covid vaccine.”