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The Bihar government on Friday spelt out its priority list for Covid-19 vaccination with chief minister Nitish Kumar placing health care workers, frontline workers, priority age groups, public representatives, all people engaged in government works, contract workers, shopkeepers, traders and all vulnerable groups, first in the line.

On Tuesday, the state cabinet had approved free of cost Covid-19 vaccination for the entire population of the state, subject to its availability. The BJP too, in its poll manifesto, had announced a free corona vaccine for residents of the state.

The chief minister asked the officials to formulate plans for Covid vaccination and manpower utilisation in such a way that other medical operations are carried out uninterrupted.

“Covid vaccination has to be carried out on the patterns of Pulse Polio campaign with full alertness and it has to be monitored at district magistrate level every day,” said Kumar.

Lauding the work done by the health department, the chief minister said that increased testing has helped in containing the spread of the virus. He, however, advised the officials to maintain the same tempo till the vaccines are out. “There should be a proper and adequate storage facility for vaccines,” he said.

The health department on Friday tested 122,444 people, out of which, 535 positive cases were reported. Recovery rate in the state was 97.40% on Friday, more than the national average of around 94%.

Bihar government has decided to form a block-level task force and use its routine immunisation channel for administering the Covid-19 vaccine, once available, with the Centre committing to increase the state’s vaccine storage capacity by one crore vials.

It will also engage doctors, dentists, medicos, paramedics, nurses and nursing students as alternate vaccinators for the purpose, said officials.

Kumar also asked the health department officials to improve facilities further at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences

(IGIMS), Patna and Indira Gandhi Institute of Cardiology (IGIC), where heart-disease related patients are treated.

Kumar said that the government is doing its best to provide better health care facilities in villages and advised connecting primary health centres, community health centres, sub-divisional hospitals and district hospitals through telemedicine in order to provide seamless medical consultation.