NEW DELHI: After arriving at Indira Gandhi International Airport in special cargo planes, Covid-19 vaccine vials will be taken to the city’s two cold storage facilities in special refrigerated vans. From there, the vaccine will be transported to 609 cold chain points in special vans, some of which could be hired from private operators. From the cold chain points, the vaccine will be taken to the 1,000 vaccination booths across Delhi, many of on the same premises as the cold chain points.
These logistical arrangements for the smooth rollout of the vaccination programme were detailed on Friday by Dr Suneela Garg, directorprofessor of community medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College and member of Delhi Covid-19 task force for vaccination. In the capital, 51 lakh citizens will get the jab in the first phase of inoculation.
Four Covid regional stores have been earmarked in Karnal in Haryana, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata for onward distribution of the vaccine among states and Union territories, mostly by road. Delhi’s vaccine storage points being in the vicinity of the airport is expected to save time in the delivery process.
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Each of Delhi’s 11 districts will have 55-60 cold chain points and 90-100 vaccination booths. The 1,000 or so vaccination booths will be created at 48 government and 100-odd private hospitals. “Not more than 100 shots will be given at one vaccination booth,” said a government official, adding that post-vaccination monitoring of a person for 30 minutes was mandatory.
Delhi government has created a vaccine storage point at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital while another one is being readied at Civil Lines. For the third storage facility, a site has been identified at the office of the Director General of Health Services, but government officials believe that the two main sites will prove adequate.
Garg said, “From Delhi’s storage facilities, the vaccine will be sent to the districts in special vans, while vaccine carriers will transport it from the cold chain points to the vaccination booths. Maintaining the temperature while transporting the vaccine is very important. In all the cold chain points, where freezers and refrigerators are available, temperature monitors will be employed to ensure that the required 2-8 degree Celsius temperature is maintained.”
In some places like Lok Nayak Hospital where vaccination booths will be located close to the cold chain point, the vials will be brought out by vaccine carriers.
In the first phase, the priority group of people getting the Covid-19 jab will include three lakh healthcare workers, six lakh frontline workers and 42 lakh people either aged above 50 years or below 50 but with co-morbidities.
The state government has used three sources to gather data of people who will be given vaccines in the first phase: details of healthcare workers from hospitals, voter ID cards and data generated at the district level during screening for non-communicable diseases in the past to identify people below 50 with comorbidities. This list of beneficiaries is still being compiled. Self-registration for vaccination is going to start on the Co-WIN app in a few days.
“All beneficiaries who are supposed to get vaccines will be sent SMS texts two days before they are scheduled to get vaccines. They have to report at the given time and vaccination booth (address will be available in the SMS) and show the SMS for verification,” explained an official.
As part of the preparations 3,500 persons have been trained to administer the shots that will protect them from infection. These include 600 healthcare professionals from dozens of private hospitals. Each vaccination booth will be managed by five vaccination officers entrusted with verification, vaccination, updating of information on the government website and post-vaccination monitoring. Emergency treatment measures will also be in place in the booths.
Don't make plans' warns Henry in pleas to stem Family Day travel – Powell River Peak
“We won’t be at a place where we can travel.”
That was provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s message Friday, January 22, responding to questions over whether the province’s plan to vaccinate 4.3 million people by October would open up non-essential travel to British Columbians over the next several months.
“We know there are a lot of celebratory events coming up like Chinese New Year. We need those to remain low-key, virtual events this year,” she said.
Until at least the summer, Henry said travel should remain essential with a focus on staying local and “looking at experiencing what we have in BC for people in BC”
But on Thursday, premier John Horgan rejected calls for a ban on interprovincial travel, after seeking a legal review on a potential border lockdown to stem the transmission of COVID-19.
Finding that much of the current interprovincial travel is work-related, and therefore essential, it cannot be restricted, Horgan stated in a written statement.
Current public health orders require masks in public indoor spaces and limit social gatherings to a single household or “core bubble” until at least February 5 at midnight. They do not, however, restrict movement across the province.
“Public health officials tell us what is most important is for everyone to obey health orders, wherever they are, rather than imposing mobility rules,” he said. “Therefore, we will not be imposing travel restrictions at this time.”
On Friday, Horgan said his government would “be guided by the science.”
Pointing to his own affinity for attending lacrosse games as well as Canada’s 150th anniversary since confederation this summer, Horgan said, “We’re not making plans right now, and British Columbians shouldn’t be making plans right now.”
“As we get more information, as the vaccination plan rolls out and we see the impact on case counts…we’ll be in a better position to make those decisions.”
Horgan also said minister of environment and climate change strategy George Herman is working on a plan to open up campgrounds across the province for the summer season.
As Henry put it: “Once we get to the summer, we’re probably going to be in a different position. Whether we’ll have access to international travel? That is not as sure.”
She added: “We know that there are billions of people who do not have access to vaccinations and that this virus is still creating great risks in many communities around the world.”
The Latest: New virus clusters hit China's north provinces – The Record (New Westminster)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine facility in more than two months, although there was no immediate evidence the virus was spreading in the community.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said Sunday the case was a 56-year-old woman who recently returned from Europe.
Like other returning travellers, she spent 14 days in quarantine and twice tested negative before being returning home on Jan. 13. She later developed symptoms and tested positive.
He said health officials will conduct genome testing but are working under the assumption that the case is a more transmissible variant of the virus.
He said they are investigating to see whether its possible she caught the disease from another returning traveller who was staying in the same quarantine facility.
New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the virus, at least for now. Bloomfield said officials are ramping up contact tracing and testing efforts and hope to have more information about the case in the coming days.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Year after lockdown, Wuhan dissident more isolated than ever
— UK doctors seek review of 12-week gap between vaccine doses
— Tunisia extends curfew, ban on protests as virus cases jump
— The entire University of Michigan athletic department is pausing after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant that transmits at a higher rate.
Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
BEIJING — A Chinese city has completed 2,600 temporary treatment rooms as the country’s north battles new clusters of the coronavirus.
The single-occupancy rooms in the city of Nangong in Hebei province just outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heaters, toilets, showers and other amenities, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Special attention has been paid to Hebei because of its proximity to the capital and the province has locked down large areas to prevent further spread of the virus. The provincial capital Shijiazhung and the city of Xingtai, which encompasses Nangong, have been largely sealed off. Community isolation and large-scale testing have also been enforced.
The National Health Commission on Sunday reported 19 additional cases in Hebei. The far northeastern province of Heilongjiang reported another 29 cases, linked partly to an outbreak at a meat processing plant. Beijing, where around 2 million residents have been ordered to undergo new testing, reported two new confirmed cases.
China currently has 1,800 people being treated for COVID-19, 94 of them listed in serious condition, with another 1,017 being monitored in isolation for having tested positive for the virus without displaying symptoms.
SEATTLE — Washington and Oregon are now confirming additional cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the Pacific Northwest.
The Washington Department of Health announced Saturday that the B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom last September, has been confirmed by DNA sequencing in two cases in Snohomish County. Those are the first confirmed cases in Washington.
The Oregon Health Authority confirmed a second case, in someone from Yamhill County, a week after the first case was detected in Multnomah County.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no conclusive evidence that it’s more severe than other strains of the virus.
NEW YORK — New York will be sending more vaccination preparation kits to senior housing complexes and churches in an effort to ensure fairness in vaccine distributions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
The kits include syringes, vials, room dividers, privacy curtains, cleaning supplies, personal protective gear and other items. They also include instructions on how to set up a vaccination site.
New York deployed the first kits last week to five New York City Housing Authority senior citizen complexes and eight churches and cultural centres where nearly 4,200 people eligible to receive the vaccine were vaccinated, Cuomo said.
Kits are now being sent to four additional New York City senior complexes and eight other churches statewide, with plans to vaccine another 3,000 people at those locations by Tuesday. Locations in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo will be receiving the kits.
The kits are part of an effort to ensure vaccinations in Black, Latino and other communities where COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact, the governor said.
Also Saturday, the governor’s office reported 144 more deaths statewide from the coronavirus. More than 8,800 people were hospitalized, a drop of 44 compared with Friday’s data.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court has denied a Southern California church’s request to overturn the state’s coronavirus restrictions barring worship services indoors during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sacramento Bee says Friday’s ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals leaves the door open for addressing Gov. Gavin Newsom administration’s limits on church attendance if a California county is in a less-restrictive COVID-19 tier.
A three-judge panel ruled against South Bay United Pentecostal Church of Chula Vista over public health orders that restrict religious services from being held inside while virus case rates and hospitalizations remain high.
Currently in California, indoor worship services are banned in all purple-tiered counties — those deemed to be at widespread risk of coronavirus transmission. This tier accounts for the vast majority of the state. Just four counties are in less-restrictive tiers.
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico on Saturday reported 859 additional COVID-19 cases and 38 more deaths.
That increases the state’s pandemic totals to 168,579 cases and 3,115 deaths.
Bernalillo County had the most additional cases with 184, followed by 83 in San Juan County, 74 in Dona Ana County and 53 in McKinley County.
Most of the additional deaths involved older New Mexicans, but they also included several people in their 20s and 30s.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
RIO DE JANEIRO — The governor of Brazil´s Amazonas state has announced tough new lockdown measures to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed local hospitals.
Gov. Wilson Lima said Saturday that as of Monday, the state’s 4 million people can only go out for essential activities such as buying food or seeking medical attention.
Hospitals in the state capital of Manaus have been strained amid reports that a new variant of the novel coronavirus is more contagious, and the state has seen a shortage of oxygen supplies. The state health secretary says 584 people are on a waiting list for hospital beds, 101 of them requiring intensive therapy.
“People need to understand that we have to take tough measures to save as many lives as possible,” Lima said in an announcement posted on social media.
HELSINKI — Norway says its capital, Oslo, and nine municipalities have been placed under strict restrictions to contain the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus first detected in Britain.
The Norwegian government said shopping centres and other non-essential stores in those regions were closed at noon on Saturday, and would remain shut at least until Jan. 31.
In addition, organized sports activities were halted, schools were ordered to rely increasingly on remote teaching and households were requested to not invite visitors home in those specified areas.
Norwegian health officials say the Scandinavian country of 5.4 million has so far identified some 55 cases of the virus variant which has spread widely in Britain.
Neighbouring Sweden, where the overall pandemic situation is substantially worse than in Norway, said late Saturday that it was planning to launch a temporary entry ban from Norway due to the new mutated form of COVID-19.
LAS VEGAS — Federal prosecutors have charged a Nevada man with fraudulently obtaining about $2 million in federal coronavirus relief aid, meant for small businesses, to buy luxury vehicles and condominiums in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada accused Jorge Abramovs of bank fraud after he allegedly applied for funding to at least seven banks between April and June 2020.
The complaint said a financial analysis determined Abramovs spent the money on personal luxury items, including a 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible for more than $260,000 and a 2020 Tesla Model 3 for about $55,000.
Abramovs was ordered remanded in custody on Friday during a detention hearing.
A defence lawyer assigned to represent Abramovs didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request by The Associated Press for comment.
CHICAGO — Restaurants and certain bars across Chicago and suburban Cook County have opened their doors to customers for the first time since late October after winning approval Saturday from Illinois health officials.
With the city and county moving up to Tier I of the state’s coronavirus mitigation plan, restaurants and bars that serve food can seat customers indoors at 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is less.
Tables will be limited to no more than four people indoors or six people outdoors, and tables must be spaced 6 feet apart. Indoor service will be limited to a maximum of two hours and bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden pledged in his inaugural address to level with the American people, and the message from his first three days in office has been nothing if not grim and grimmer.
He has painted a bleak picture of the country’s immediate future dealing with the coronavirus, warning Americans that it will take months, not weeks, to reorient a nation facing a historic convergence of crises.
The dire language is meant as a call to action, but it is also a deliberate effort to temper expectations. The U.S. is trying to roll out its vaccination program, with issues of slow production and distribution.
The U.S. leads the world with 24.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 415,000 deaths.
The Associated Press
BC releases vaccine rollout timelines – CKPGToday.ca
The plan will see 7.4 million doses of vaccine administered to every British Columbian who is eligible to receive it between April and the end of September.
The plan, which got underway in December, starts by first immunizing those who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death, including long-term care residents and the health-care workers who care for them, remote and at-risk Indigenous communities, and seniors.
Phase 1 has had more than 103,000 people in B.C. receiving their first dose of vaccine and second doses are underway. Phase 2, starting in late February, expands immunizations to additional vulnerable populations, Indigenous communities and Elders, health-care staff and all seniors over the age of 80. Together, these two phases are focused on people who are most at risk.
As age is the single greatest risk factor for severe illness and death, Phase 3, starting in April, will expand to include people between the ages of 79 to 75 and work backwards in five-year increments to include those age 60 and over. Also included in this phase are people with certain underlying health conditions that make them clinically extremely vulnerable.
The government says it is important to note that no one will lose their place in line. For example, if an elderly relative is in Phase 2 and cannot be immunized at that time, they can be immunized at any point thereafter.
As additional vaccines are approved and become available, people who are front-line essential workers or work in specific workplaces or industries may also be able to start receiving vaccines later in Phase 3.
Phase 4 is anticipated to begin in July 2021 for the rest of the eligible population, starting with people aged 59 to 55 and working backwards in five-year age groups until everyone over the age of 18 who wants a COVID-19 vaccine receives it.
Approximately four million British Columbians are eligible to receive the COVID-19 immunization. Starting in March 2021, pre-registration for the vaccine will begin to open online and by phone for the general public, starting with those aged 79 to 75. Those who are considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” will receive their immunization beginning in April. People who are pre-registered will get a reminder to book their appointment as soon as they are eligible.
Age Population Doses
- 60-64 82,000: July dose 1, August dose 2
- 55-59 369,700 July dose 1, August dose 2
- 50-54 342,300 July dose 1, August dose 2
- 45-49 318,200 July dose 1, August dose 2
- 40-44 330,200 July dose 1, August dose 2
- 35-39 370,650 July/August dose 1, August/Sept dose 2
- 30-34 379,450 August dose 1, September dose 2
- 25-29 359,600 August dose 1, September dose 2
- 18-24 460,850 August dose 1, September dose 2
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