Boost testing, vaccinate those aged 18-45: FICCI urges govt.

‘Younger age group acting as super spreaders of infection’

Industry body FICCI has urged the government to ramp up COVID-19 testing across States and open up vaccination for the age group 18-45 years, while assuring it of the complete support of the industry in fighting the pandemic.

“We are currently testing about 11 lakh samples a day, while we had reached the level of testing 15 lakh samples a day in January,” FICCI president Uday Shankar said in a letter to the Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan.

“Further, there is capacity of performing much more tests with 2,440 labs in the country operational for COVID-19 testing, including more than 1,200 from the private sector,” he wrote.

Tap private sector

The States may be advised to utilise the facilities in the private sector to the maximum to achieve the desired testing capacity, he added.

Mr. Shankar also urged the government to open up vaccination for the age group of 18-45 years, as this age group has been acting as the super spreaders of infection in the country.

Augmenting capacity

“Given that there is no shortage of vaccines and there is a huge scope of augmenting inoculation capacity through greater involvement of private sector, we urge you to open up vaccination for this age group to help subside the spread of infection as well as severity of cases in the country,” the FICCI president added.

He  assured the government of complete support and cooperation of the industry in fighting this crisis.

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