Agartala: The High Court of Tripura on Friday observed that that there is a severe shortage of vaccines for the persons in the age group of 18 to 44 years and disparity in distribution of vaccines among districts.

The court was hearing a suo motu case on the state government’s preparedness to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

A division comprising Chief Justice AA Kureshi and Justice Subhasish Talapatra was hearing the case after the state government filed a detailed affidavit before the court.

The court said that the state government has accepted its suggestion of publishing a vaccination bulletin on a daily basis.

“These details which would now be in public domain and easily accessible to the members of the public. It would certainly give an idea of the precise position of the vaccination progress to the members of the public,” the division bench said.

The Chief Justice said that from the data provided in the vaccination bulletins, advocates for the petitioners and in particular amicus curiae Somik Deb pointed out that there is a severe shortage of vaccines for the persons in the age group of 18 to 44 years. So far, as a result of such a shortage, very few persons in this age group have been vaccinated.

“Bulk of such vaccines in this age group has been received by the residents of West Tripura District. It is pointed out that out of a total of 58,125 first vaccines administered in this age group as on 03.06.2021, 57,804 vaccines have been administered in West Tripura District. The data also shows that in several districts very few vaccines have been given to persons in this age group and in some districts no one in this age group has received vaccines so far,” the High Court observed.

The division bench also said that the disproportionate distribution of vaccines in the age group 18-44 where there is a severe shortage needs to be addressed by the state administration.

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“Prima facie, such disparity could be on account of severe shortage of doses as compared to the persons eligible to receive and are willing to receive the vaccine and the requirement of online registration. We request the State administration to address this issue and to ensure that the vaccine doses whenever available for such age groups are not monopolized by any region or class of citizens and that there is a more equitable distribution of such vaccines,” the division bench said.

The court was also informed that in the Covid wards one relative per patient is allowed to enter the ward for the requirements of the patient at the discretion of the doctors.

“Even if this is the policy of the government, such a relative after coming out of the Covid ward is a potential carrier of the virus. We expect that the administration would take all necessary precautions while allowing any relative of the patient to enter the Covid ward,” he court said.

The court has fixed the next date of hearing in the case on June 25.

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