Indian Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla’s tenure to be extended

Indian Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla’s tenure will be extended by a year today. Bhalla was appointed Home Secretary in

Ajay Kumar Bhalla IANS

Photo: IANS

Indian Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla’s tenure will be extended by a year today.

Bhalla was appointed Home Secretary in August 2019 and his tenure was first extended in October 2020. Since then, he has been a key part of India’s COVID-19 response and the implementation of the country’s five-fold strategy to contain the virus. The pandemic is one of the top domestic challenges India faces with roughly 32 million total confirmed cases and more than 400,000 deaths as of the end of July. As a part of the five-fold strategy, Bhalla is also involved in India’s vaccination campaign which has only fully inoculated 9.1% of the population.

Expect the extension of Bhalla’s tenure to ensure continuity in India’s coronavirus response and its vaccination drive. Bhalla’s next year as Home Secretary will likely focus heavily on India’s vaccine rollout. As the government’s goal of having the entire adult population vaccinated by December looks increasingly unlikely, expect Bhalla to encourage states to make the vaccine as widely available as possible by expanding immunization centers and combatting vaccine hesitancy through local engagement. These approaches, combined with strict adherence to the five-fold strategy, will likely be crucial for India to control the virus.

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