The Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday announced that it will provide free Covid jab to all persons in the age group of 18 to 44 years, who will opt for vaccination in government-run hospitals in the state from 1 May.

The decision was taken during a state Cabinet meeting held here today under the chairmanship of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, HP parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Bhardwaj said. Bhardwaj said the state government will soon come up with a plan as to how to provide free Covid jabs to those persons who will opt for vaccination in government hospitals.

“The government has decided to constitute mobile teams at block level to provide better treatment to Covid19 patients under home isolation and one vehicle would be provided exclusively to shift the serious patients. Besides, each Medical College will have a dedicated team headed by a senior doctor to supervise the Covid-19 cases for better treatment of patients in hospitals,” he said.

Bhardwaj stated that the state government will provide an incentive of Rs 200 per shift to outsourced employees engaged against the Covid pandemic and in addition, nutrition kits will be given to persons recuperating under home isolation to ensure their proper medical care.

“The state government is making efforts to provide best healthcare facilities in medical colleges, regional hospitals and Covid Care centres. Apart from this, senior officials have been directed to ensure that senior doctors are monitoring healthcare facilities in all Covid facilities and the patients are being treated under their supervision,” he said.

He stated that all other guidelines issued earlier to contain the spread of Covid will remain the same. However, the Deputy Commissioners concerned had been empowered to take decisions in the districts as per the prevailing conditions.

But they have to consult the state government and take senior government officials’ permission before implementing these decisions in a district, he said. He added the state government has also decided to regularise the services of the contractual employees who had completed 3 years of service on 31 March or by 30 September 2021.

Likewise, the services of part-time employees completing 8 years of service on 31 March or by 30 September 2021 will be converted into daily wages while daily and contingent workers completing 5 years of service on above mentioned dates, will be regularised and given posting against available vacant posts in the department concerned.

The CM and Cabinet ministers contributed their one month salary towards CM Covid Fund and the cheques were handed over by Thakur to chief secretary Anil Khachi.