After several news reports on Tuesday, October 26, claimed that the Telangana government had decided to stall distribution of ration and pension to those who have not been vaccinated yet, Health Department officials refuted the reports. Telangana Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao denied making any statement linking COVID-19 vaccination with the ration and pension distributed by the government. In a media statement denying the reports, Srinivasa Rao said that the government has not taken any such decision. A few Telugu media outlets had reported that the Health Department had made a proposal to the state government to link vaccination to ration and pension and that it intended to implement the move from November 1.
Telangana recently crossed the milestone of administering 3 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses. As of October 26, a total of 3,06,78,647 doses had been administered, of which 2.16 crore were first doses and about 90.5 lakh were second doses. Reports surfacing on Tuesday morning claimed that the Health Department had proposed stalling ration and pension to unvaccinated persons in order to tackle vaccine hesitancy, and in order to reach the target of 100% vaccination in the state by December. Some reports cited a tweet by the District Collector of Jogulamba Gadwal had instructed officials to halt pension and ration to those who had not received the vaccine yet, while reviewing the progress of vaccination in the district.
Earlier in September, the Telangana High Court had directed the state government to ensure that all eligible persons receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the next three months. On Monday, October 25, Telangana recorded 179 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the official tally to 6,70,453, while the official death toll rose to 3,949 with two more fatalities. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of fresh cases with 66, followed by Karimnagar (15) and Warangal Urban (11) districts, a state government bulletin said, providing details as of 5.30 pm on Monday. It said 104 people recovered from the infectious disease and the cumulative number of recoveries till date was 6,62,481. Active cases stood at 4,023. It said 38,588 samples were tested on Monday and the total number tested till date was 2,73,47,333. The samples tested per million population were 7,34,748.
With PTI inputs