The Jai Ram Thakur-led Himachal Pradesh government will soon start a special campaign to vaccinate those groups, which may prove as potential Covid spreaders, in order to curb the rise in Covid cases in the state.

HP Secretary, Health, Amitabh Awasthi said a target had been fixed to vaccinate those persons on priority who could prove potential Covid spreaders in the state.

“In a meeting with all the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and Block Medical Officers (BMOs) on Monday, they have been asked to set up new vaccination sites by 10 April.

The persons who commutes daily to neighbouring state of Punjab, which has been worst affected by Covid spread, the drivers and conductors of public transport will be vaccinated on priority under the campaign.

Besides, vaccination sites will also be set up near the educational institutions in the state by creating clusters,” he told The Statesman.

Awasthi said the State Screening Committee had given approval for this special vaccination campaign and setting up of new vaccination sites for the vulnerable population.Apart from this, all the CMOs and BMOs had been asked to raise the target of vaccination to 30,000 to 35,000 persons per day under the ongoing drive, he said.

He further stated that the medical officials had also been asked to increase the testing for Covid to 8,000 persons per day by 8 April and they had been directed to raise RTPCR and Antigen testing to 55-45 ratio from existing 70-30 ratio.

Awasthi said the present trend of rise in Covid cases could be checked by following the basic principle of testing, tracking and treating and there was nothing to worry about the present situation in the state. “The state government will again start a door to door campaign to trace Covid patients and also monitor the health of patients who are in home isolation.

There is the need for proper check on such patients and emphasis will be given on providing them necessary care, besides informing the family members on Do’s and Don’ts on curbing Covid spread,” he added.

Awasthi added mapping of concerned areas of Medical Officers will be done and they have been instructed to call patients in home isolation everyday to check on their health and provide them with necessary and timely assistance.

“All the Covid case centres in the state which had been closed in the state had been reactivated to handle any exigency situation in the state and in addition, three makeshift hospitals at Dr RPGMC Tanda, IGMC Shimla and at Nalagarh have been made operational,” he added.

The number of Covid cases had increased to 65,242 as on 4 April from 58,645 cases on 28 February while the number of active cases had also increased significantly to 3,577 as compared to 318 cases on 28 February.

75 deaths from Covid had been reported till 4 April with total death toll mounting to 1,057.

The worst affected districts with Covid surge in the state were Kangra with 712 active cases, followed by Solan (658), Una (611) and Shimla (352).