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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Putting an end to speculations surrounding the commencement of the much-awaited COVID19 vaccination drive, Director of Odisha Health Department, Bijay Panigrahi informed that there is a good chance that the initiative will kick-start from the beginning of the next year.

However, while the dry run of the vaccination drive has already begun in some of the states, Odisha is still awaiting Centre's nod for the same.

Putting the ball in centre's court, Panigrahi said, "Though, we are prepared, the decision lies at their end. We can start the drive only after Centre's nod."

Listing out Odisha's preparedness for the drive, Panigrahi said, "The state is ready with 1222 cold chain points to store and transport the vaccine vials. No less than 8000 healthcare workers have been put on standby to start vaccinating once we get a go ahead. Besides, we have already received 21 Lakh syringes and 26 ILRs from Centre."

"As many as 3, 26,000 healthcare workers in Odisha have already been enrolled in our portal who will be vaccinated in the first phase of the drive," informed Panigrahi.

DMET Director, CBK Mohanty said, "Odisha has a vast experience in universal vaccination. This so called 'Dry Run' before the actual vaccination is Centre's order. We do not have to do anything with this. If they asks us to take up the drive, we will start with full steam."

Denying the reports of second wave of Covid-19 in India, Mohanty said, "Any Pandemic has three stages. First one is the pandemic where it spreads around the world across borders. The second stage is endemic where the virus remains confined to some countries and the last one is sporadic where it manifests intermittently."

"The situation of Covid-19 now in Odisha is such that sporadical cases of the virus cannot be termed as second wave as it is a natural course of any virus and it will keep popping up for some more time," added Mohanty.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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