Port Blair, July 2: The Andaman & Nicobar Administration has now reached out to the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups in the islands after covering most of the general islander populace in the Union Territory.

The Secretary Health and Civil Supplies, Shri R N Sharma on Thursday disclosed that the Andaman & Nicobar administration is committed to protecting the members of the PVTG in the archipelago and they are properly examined before administering the COVID-19 vaccines.

The PVTG in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands include Great Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese and Shompens. 247 out of the 564 members of Jarawa tribe, 54 out of 56 members of the Great Andamanese tribe and 63 out of 126 members of the Onges tribes have been administered the first dose of COVID-19.

The Health secretary said that 12 out of 237 members of the Shompens have also received the first dose of vaccine.

Vaccination drive is continuing smoothly in A&N Islands. As per data made available, a total of 1,82,765 beneficiaries have been vaccinated so far in A&N Islands, out of the target beneficiaries of 2, 81, 603 (approx.). A total of 52,706 eligible people in the age group of 18 to 44 years have been vaccinated till date. A total of 2802 people were vaccinated today in A&N Islands.

1641 beneficiaries were vaccinated in South Andaman District, out of which, 394 were in the age group of 18-44 years. In North & Middle Andaman District, 589 beneficiaries were vaccinated. In Nicobar District, 572 beneficiaries were vaccinated, out of which, 207 were in the age group of 18-44 years.

Sharma explained that all measures have been put in place to restrict the entry of the virus to these islands from mainland. Under the fivefold strategy of Testing, Tracking, Treating, COVID Appropriate Behavior and Vaccination, testing has been given utmost priority and around two-third of tests are conducted through RT-PCR while one-third is conducted using RAT.

He sought the cooperation of the citizens to achieve Zero COVID status again.