Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Sunday announced to bear the entire cost of COVID-19 vaccine in the state.
Addressing the people of Odisha in the evening, the chief minister said the country is going through a war-like situation due to COVID-19 pandemic. Lakhs of people are getting infected and thousands of them are losing lives due to the virus, he added.
Stating that the situation is alarming in states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, he said it is unfortunate that cremation ground is falling short for performing last rites of the people dying due to COVID-19.
The chief minister appealed to the people to cooperate with the government to deal with the grave situation by following COVID-19 norms like wearing face masks, maintaining social distance and washing hands with sanitiser. He also requested the people not to go out of their homes unless it is highly urgent.
He said the state government has targeted to spend Rs 2,000 crore towards vaccination of 2 crore people of Odisha. The people do not have to spend anything towards vaccination, he added.
He concluded with the hope that Odisha will come out of the crisis like last year if the people will fight against the pandemic with determination and patience.
The vaccination of the persons above 18 years will start from May 1. The state has a population of around 1.93 crore in the age group of 18-44 years.
COVID-19 vaccine Covishield will be administered to the people across the state except the areas coming under Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), government sources said.