Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday that the center had asked to vaccinate those above the age of 17 against Covid-19 in the state and sought people’s cooperation for that. He also stressed the need to ensure that people take doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and be alert so that the rate of infection does not increase again. Addressing a sub-campaign gathering here, Sarma said a new guidance has come from New Delhi that all people over the age of 17 can now take the COVID-19 vaccine. 17 to 18-year-olds get vaccinated now, he said in a sub-campaign here.

There are currently three Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V vaccines given in the country to those over 18 years of age. They are all two-dose vaccines. Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D needle-free COVID-19 vaccine has received emergency use approval (EUA) for those 12 to 18 years old in the country.

Sarma said that the incidence of the disease decreased from November 2020 to February 2021 but increased again from April 2021. Sarma added: “To ensure that such a situation does not repeat, we have to take the vaccine doses. The Prime Minister stressed his point, saying that elections will come and go , but people have to survive, do business, continue their education.We must be on the alert so that the COVID situation does not deteriorate again, he said.

Sarma denied the speculation that the state could be shut down again, and said: We (the Assam government) do not want the shutdown and will not impose it. But we have to make sure that people are fully vaccinated. Sarma, who has been campaigning for BJP candidate from Mariani, Rhoyiputy Kurmi, is adamant about the developmental activities initiated by the state government since he took office in May this year.

In this context, he touched on the government’s war on drugs, measures to reduce corruption in the administration, as well as increasing the digitization of government work. He also talked in detail about the various welfare schemes implemented by the government. Karmi has won the Mariani seat for the past four terms as a congressional candidate, including in state elections held in March and April this year. But he resigned from the party as well as from the assembly and joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Saffron Party nominated him in a by-election ballot from the constituency. Besides Mariani, by-elections are scheduled for Gossaigaon, Tamulpur, Bhabanipur and Thowra constituencies on October 31. Counting of votes is scheduled for November 2.

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