New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With vaccines on the horizon, the Central government will hold the second round of dry run on January 8 in all districts across the country in a bid to access the readiness of the mechanism laid out for the large-scale inoculation drive. 

The first round of dry run had been conducted in 116 districts across 259 sites covering all states and Union Territories. No major issues were observed in the operational aspects during the exercise and all states expressed confidence in the operational guidelines and IT platform for large scale programme implementation, the Union Health Ministry had said.

Prior to the second round of the exercise, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will meet his counterparts from all states and Union Territories on January 7, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday. 

Yesterday, the Health Ministry had said it was ready to roll-out the vaccine within 10 days from the date of emergency use authorisation. Addressing the media, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that there are four primary vaccine stores called GMSD located in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and there are 37 vaccine stores in the country. The vaccine will be stored in bulk and distributed further from here, he added.  

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday that a total of 73 people have tested positive for the new strain of virus first identified in the United Kingdom. All those infected have been kept in single room isolation, while their families too have been put under quarantine, PTI reported.

India on Wednesday reported 18,088, which took the overall caseload to 10,374,932 -- the second highest in the world after United States. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja