Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Monday said the state was left with only 1.9 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine due to the lesser supply of the vaccine from the Centre.

Of this available stock, more than one lakh doses were expected to be used today.

Inaugurating Guru Nanak Dev Dialysis Unit, Sidhu said about 1.5 lakh beneficiaries got vaccinated on 25 April and Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has already raised the alarming situation of Punjab due to increasing cases of coronavirus and demanded the regular supply of Covid-19 vaccine and oxygen from Centre. He said that more than 30,05,083 people have been vaccinated in Punjab so far under which a total of 26,82,393 vaccinated with the first dose and 3,22,690 with the second dose.

The minister said that the Punjab government has already appealed to the Union government to regularise the supply of vaccines in the state as the trained staff and infrastructure provided by the Punjab government could vaccinate three lakh people daily, requiring 15 lakh doses every week.

He said that the health department had written a letter to the Union health ministry on 22 April demanding 10 lakh doses of vaccine. He divulged the health department has received the intimation letter from Centre that they are sending only 1.5 lakh doses of Coviesheild vaccine against our demand by tomorrow.

Regarding the preparations for vaccination for people above 18 years of age from May 1, he said that Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had asked the department to order 30 lakh covishield vaccine doses.

Replying to a query regarding the shortage of oxygen, he said that the plants of the Punjab government were running at full capacity while the Central government had reduced the liquid oxygen quota of Punjab.

The minister said about 1,80,461 Covid-19 positive patients who were kept under home isolation (HI) were successfully recovered from jaws of this deadly infection and about 38,948 active patients under HI at present are poised to win this fierce battle with the consultation of the state’s dedicated teams.

Sidhu said that mild symptomatic and asymptomatic patients need not be admitted to hospitals and choose the option for home isolation at the time of testing only.

He said that so far 2,21,833 patients were advised for home quarantine from which 98 per cent recovered effectively with the telephonically medical consultation of health experts and 2,331 patients have been referred to institutional observation till date.