Tripura High Court concerns over unavailability of vaccines and circulation of incorrect statistics
After a detailed discussion on the prevailing pandemic situation in the State, the division bench of the Tripura High court on Friday highlighted certain areas of concern-
The court noted that as per the vaccine bulletin daily published by the State Government it is clear that the overall vaccination of both the first and second dose for all age groups is comparatively higher than the national average and perhaps is the highest in the country.
According to the statistics presented by the State government on June 03, 2021, approximately 26.86 lakh people above 18 years old are eligible for vaccination. Till July 07, 2021, 22,22,254 people took their first dose out of which 6, 26,402 received the second dose as well. However, the court expressed its concern over the depleting stock of vaccines and the ultimate drop-in daily vaccination. On 6th July 11,570 vaccines were administered but on 7th July the number came down to 5,526 only. The court noted that this problem is faced by all States throughout India.
Further, the major matter of concern observed by the court was for people who already received the first dose and are eligible for a second dose. The court stated that such people cannot wait indefinitely for receiving the second doze even after completing the mandatory period. The State still have around 14 lakh people who have not been vaccinated for the second dose. Therefore, the State recommended the State government take up this issue before the committee dealing with COVID-19 vaccine distribution and allocation.
Increase mortality rate-
The court discovered that for quite some time the positivity rate in the State is ranging around 5%. At the same time, the number of death on a daily basis is also increasing at a high rate.
Not being satisfied with such figures, the court ordered the State to rigorously adhere to COVID-19 protocols and safety measures. Simultaneously the court directed the State government to take necessary action whenever a breach is noticed.
Further, the court instructed the learned Advocated General to present the analysis of data of death indicating the primary cause for relatively high mortality rate before the court on the next date of hearing so that possible solutions can be addressed.
Incorrect statistics circulated-
The statistics are given by the National Health Mission Director of the State in the two local newspapers (Tripura Observer and Northeast Colour) indicates that around 80% of the population in all groups and 98% from the age group of 45 have received their first doses. The court discovered neither of them as authentic. On the date when the Mission Director made these claims, the total vaccines administered were 24,26,803 of which 5,66,458 were of the second doze. The total number of people vaccinated was thus 18,60,345.
Therefore, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S Talapatra remarked that only reliable, transparent and accurate information should be circulated in the public domain so that the common people can understand the correct picture and will have faith in the data distribution system. Further, the court criticizing the incorrect statement given by the responsible officer like National Health Mission Director of the State ordered Dr Siddharth Shib Jaiswal to rectify the information given by him as early as possible.