Seeking to exponentially expand the countrywide anti-coronavirus inoculation drive, the Centre has chose to keep all public and private sector COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) operational throughout April, including on gazetted holidays.
This includes gazetted holidays of the month.
The government said, "This step has been taken after detailed deliberations with the States/UTs on 31st March 2021 to optimally utilize all COVID-19 Vaccination Centers across the public and private sectors to ensure a rapid increase in the pace and coverage of COVID-19 vaccination".
The chief minister, who is himself working from isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 on March 22, asked officials to ramp up testing in view of the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and make arrangements required for the safety of people during the forthcoming "Char Dham Yatra" season.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 6.75 crore with a total of 17,47,094 doses given on Thursday till 8 pm, the health ministry said as India opened up vaccination against the viral disease for all people aged above 45 from April 1.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated and vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2.
According to the health ministry, advance appointments for vaccination can be booked through http://cowin.gov.in, or one can visit their nearest vaccination centre after 3 pm and get on-site registration done.
The Centre has said that the vaccination drive is being conducted in phases considering public safety.
This comes at a time when India is witnessing a second surge in coronavirus infections with over 72,000 new COVID-19 cases and 459 related deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The nation also registered 459 fresh fatalities on the day.
1,62,927 people have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, while 1,14,74,683 have been discharged after recovery.
Italy entered a three-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown Saturday to deter Easter travel and get-togethers even as the country's variant-fueled spike in new infections began to wane.