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Lucknow got its first 160,000 vials of Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday ahead of the start of the nationwide vaccination drive against the disease on Saturday.

The state government had made storage arrangements for the vaccine storage at two hospitals in the city.

Director-general (health) DS Negi said around 51,000 health workers would be vaccinated in the first phase at 19 hospitals in Lucknow. “Power backup [in case of power cuts] have been made for cold storage of the vaccines.”

Authorities have received four additional special refrigerators from the Centre for storing the vaccines.

Separately, additional chief secretary (health and family welfare) Amit Mohan Prasad said there has been a decline in Covid-19 cases in the state. He added the launch of the vaccination drive did not mean the end of the pandemic. Prasad warned the people against lowering their guard and asked them to follow Covid protocol strictly.

“In the last 24 hours, 511 cases have been reported from across Uttar Pradesh…vaccination of all will take time. Till the vaccination, people should remain alert and cover their faces with masks, wash hands regularly, and maintain social distancing. Only when the health department makes an official announcement about the end of the pandemic, should people lead usual lives,” said Prasad.