Lucknow: 68 per cent of the villages in Uttar Pradesh are free of COVID-19 infection, state Additional Chief Secretary of Health Amit Mohan Prasad said on Tuesday (May 18).

He added that the state recorded 8,737 new COVID cases, while 21108 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours. The total number of active cases in UP is 1,36,342.

In a bid to simplify the vaccination process, the UP government has decided to start registrations at common service centres across all districts.

The move is aimed at helping people in rural parts of the state register on the CoWin app for vaccination.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that about 1.3 lakh such centres will be opened across the state.

“To increase the pace of vaccination in rural areas, we have decided that common service centres will be roped in to help people register on the CoWin app. Each centre will provide this facility and also that of vaccination in the near future. The work will be done for free and nobody is to charge for helping someone with the work,” a government spokesman was quoted as saying by IANS.

Additional chief secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said that the work of vaccination in rural areas will be rolled out at war footing.

He said that till now, 1.16 crore people had received their first vaccine shot while 31.6 lakh people had received their second.

The state government had announced free vaccination for those in the age group of 18 to 44 years.

It has also made crucial changes to its global tender conditions which will now allow companies like Pfizer and Moderna to bid.

It has halved the global tender earnest money deposit amount from Rs 16 crore and made changes to temperature and storage conditions.

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