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‘COVID-19 vaccine free for all above 18’, says Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

GUWAHATI: Amid a surge in novel coronavirus cases, Assam’s incumbent health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said. The minister also informed that the state government has placed orders for one crore vaccine doses which will be made available free of cost to those above eighteen years of age.

“Assam will give FREE vaccines to everyone from 18-45 years. GOI is giving free vaccines for 45 +. Funds collected in Assam Arogya Nidhi last year shall be utilized for the procurement of vaccines. Today itself, we’ve placed orders for 1 cr doses with Bharat Biotech,” the minister informed via a tweet.
The minister also affixed the letter presumably sent by the state’s health department to the chairman Bharat Biotech ordering the vaccine doses.

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“Pursuant to Government of India’s announcement regarding a Liberalized and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme from 1′ May 2021, Government of Assam plans to avail of this new initiative, so that maximum number of eligible people in the below 45 years age category in the state are able to get the benefits of vaccination in the shortest possible time. Under the provisions of the aforesaid Strategy, Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Assam proposes to procure 1 (one) crore doses of COVAXIN at the rate to be fixed by Government of India,” the letter, written by principal health secretary Samir K Sinha, read.

Meanwhile, Assam has placed fresh restrictions on attendance in public transport, Bihu events, schools, offices, gatherings and ordered markets to close earlier as record Covid-19 cases were seen on Monday.

While ruling out a complete lockdown, chief secretary Jishnua Baruah said, more restrictions may come after a review of the situation in the next 3-4 days.

Additionally, anyone found not wearing face masks or spitting in public will be fined up to 1000, as per the new guidelines, which will remain in force till April 30.

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