Saturday May 01, 2021
Coronavirus vaccination in India-ccupied Kashmir has come to a near halt amid a lockdown imposed in the valley due to rising cases in India, reported Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.
The report cited a top health official leading the valley's anti-coronavirus operations, saying that vaccine supplies from outside of Kashmir have been stopped since Thursday for unidentified reasons.
The officials said that vaccinations that are currently underway are being carried out from the leftover stocks. However, he added that vaccine supplies are expected to resume in a couple of days.
“One can only presume as to what could be the reason for this acute shortage. Since the government has announced vaccinating the 18-45 age group from May 1, it could be rationing the supplies. Every state or union territory gets its share of vaccines,” the official told Anadolu Agency.
The vaccine shortage was also confirmed by residents of the disputed valley.
A 58-year-old resident of Srinagar’s Bemina neighbourhood Mehraj-ud-din Wani told the publication that he had visited three vaccination centres near his vicinity and all had run out of the important drug.
The same was confirmed by Arif Khan who had taken his parents for vaccination at a nearby health centre.
“I then went to the Kashmir Government Nursing Home at Gupkar but returned empty-handed too. It’s scary,” said Arif.
Kashmiris have been flocking for vaccines ever since devastating news about the second COVID-19 wave spread across India.
A paramedic at a health centre in Srinagar Tahir, who spoke by only his first name, said that earlier, people were not visiting the health centres for vaccines but ever since the harrowing stories of deaths in India made headlines, there has been an uptick in people seeking the vaccine.
“We would literally beg people to get vaccinated, as a lot of misconceptions hindered government efforts at mass vaccination. However, over the last few days, we have seen a lot of people. A day before yesterday, we had a hard time pacifying a crowd who were beating up on someone they said was trying to jump the queue,” Tahir told Anadolu Agency.
On Thursday, IoK reported its highest single-day spike of 3,474 positive cases and 24 deaths.
The disputed territory’s lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha said on Thursday that they are prepared to handle the "emerging situation" and that they have ordered 12.3 million vaccine doses.
As per Anadolu, close to 2.3 million residents of IoK have received single or both doses of the coronavirus vaccine so far.