Bijapur, April 20: With COVID-19 cases on the rise, authorities of a village in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur have come up with an interesting way to encourage residents to get vaccinated - giving them tomatoes for each administered dose.

The Bastar village, largely dominated by a tribal population, has had its fair share of misinformation, fake news and other harmful rumours which created some hesitancy around the vaccines. To deal with this, each villager is now given two kilograms of tomatoes at the vaccination center. COVID-19 Vaccine Shortage in Rajasthan? PIB Fact Check Debunks Fake News Report.

"This is being done to encourage people to get vaccinated. Some people are hesitant to take the vaccine so this is a good incentive for them to come out," said an official, Purshottam Sallur.

"This not only gives them incentives, but we are also able to spread awareness about the pandemic and the vaccine. Misinformation can be dispelled," he added.

This comes amid the lockdown across the state. There has been a significant increase in fresh COVID-19 cases in Chhattisgarh and other parts of the country. The state reported 13,834 fresh COVID-19 cases, 11,815 discharges, and 165 deaths in the last 24 hours.

So far, 6,083 people have lost their lives to the disease in the state while the number of active cases currently stands at 1,29,000.

NHM MD IAS DR. Priyanka Shukla said: "As many as 50,55,054 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far in the state, including 2,99,124 healthcare workers (HCW) who have received the first dose, 2,01,897 HCW who have received the second dose, 2,68,170 first doses Frontline workers, 2,93,040 second doses, and 39,57,264 citizens with the first dose."

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