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44 lakh units of COVID vaccines wasted due to Centre’s poor planning: Delhi HC

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today said the Centre’s “poor planning” has led to wastage of 44 lakh units of COVID-19 vaccines out of 10 crore units produced in the country.

Coming down heavily on the Centre over wastage of vaccines, a two-judge bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said according to news reports there has been a daily wastage of six per cent of vaccines.

“This is a huge wastage. Give it to those who want it. Whomsoever you can vaccinate, please vaccinate. Whether 16 years old, or 60 years old, all need vaccination. The pandemic does not discriminate,” the court told the Centre.

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According to sources, the vaccines are mostly wasted due to improper storage and delay in utilisation.

Only eight per cent of India’s population has received the first dose and 1.3 per cent has received full doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far.

The Centre came under fire a day after it revised the age slab to 18 years and above as eligible to be vaccinated from May 1. Presently, people only above the age of 45 years are eligible for the vaccine.

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“The wastage of COVID-19 vaccines is a result of bad planning … You should have foreseen the situation. It is no rocket science,” the court told the Centre.

The court also took note that sufficient oxygen was not being supplied to COVID-19 patients in Delhi.

The court asked the Centre to make arrangements to divert supply of oxygen from industries to the COVID patients.

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“Industries can wait. Patients cannot. Human lives are at stake … Economic interests can’t override human lives. Else we are heading for a disaster. At this rate, we might lose one crore people. We should act fast and now,” the court said.

India logged 2,59,170 fresh COVID-19 cases taking the total to 1,53 crore as on Tuesday. The country has recorded 1,761 deaths so far.

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