The Delhi government on Sunday announced it would run 500 to 600 Covid centres in the first phase of vaccination soon after the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) gives approval to Serum Institute of India's 'Covishield' vaccine and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' for emergency use.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain made the announcement during a press conference while commenting on the protocol that will be followed for the rollout of the vaccine.
The minister said "500-600 Covid centres will be set up in the first phase and it will be further escalated to 1,000. Storage facilities have been made. Ultimately, 1,000 centres will be there."
On the approval of the vaccine by DCGI, Jain said, "we have just been made aware that the vaccines developed by Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India have been given approval."
"Delhi government is making all the arrangements. The protocol will be that health care and frontline workers, people over 50 years of age or with co-morbidities will be injected in the first phase of the roll-out," said Jain.
"Delhi has 3 lakh healthcare workers and 6 lakh frontline workers. The vaccine will be first rolled out to these 9 lakh people."
The minister said that Delhi government is completely ready for the rollout.
He said a dry run was conducted on Saturday in three different types of centres -- government hospitals, private hospitals and government dispensaries.
Commenting on the de-escalation of Covid beds in Delhi, the minister said de-escalation was done in Delhi a few days back.
"Under this, we had reduced some 2,500 beds in Delhi government hospitals and 5,000 to 6,000 beds in private hospitals. The occupancy currently is less than 2,000. Earlier we had 18,800 beds available, but even after de-escalation, we still have 10,500 to 11,000 beds. We shall be repeating the exercise of de-escalation next week.
"We are very closely reviewing the situation, but we are treading very cautiously. We are over-cautious."