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Thursday, October 21, 2021

AMC makes Covid vaccination must to access public services

The AMC conducted its vaccination drive across 650 sites during the day, administering 1.51 lakh doses against the targeted 2.75 lakh doses and SMC administered 2.05 lakh doses against the target of 2.42 lakh doses, as of Friday night 10 pm..

Written by Sohini Ghosh | Ahmedabad |
September 17, 2021 11:46:32 pm
A man gets Covid-19 vaccine dose at a vaccine centre in Ahmedabad. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

A day after Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Manoj Aggarwal said at a press conference that Covid-19 vaccines are not “legally compulsory”, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Friday declared that from Monday onwards, city residents cannot access public services and amenities without showing their vaccination certificates..

AMC’s Medical Officer of Health Bhavin Solanki put out a video statement that said, “AMC-run AMTS bus, BRTS bus, Kankaria Lake, Kankaria zoo, Sabarmati riverfront, (AMC-run) libraries, gymkhanas, swimming pools, sports complexes, civic centres and entry to any such corporation buildings will require checking of Covid-19 vaccination. Anyone who is above 18 years of age and has not taken the first dose or those who have not taken the second dose despite being eligible for the same, will not be allowed to enter the above-mentioned places, starting September 20.”

Meanwhile, as part of the vaccination mega drive on Friday, which coincided with the Prime Minister’s birthday, Gujarat managed to achieve a little over 60 per cent of its target, with 22.58 lakh doses against the 35 lakh-plus doses it had planned to administer, as per data on the CoWIN dashboard, as of 10 pm. However, some cities and districts extended vaccination hours till midnight and set up booths at bus and railway stations and malls and BJP party event.

The state had administered a total of 5.58 crore vaccine doses till Friday night, of which 1.62 crore were second doses.

The AMC conducted its vaccination drive across 650 sites during the day, administering 1.51 lakh doses against the targeted 2.75 lakh doses and SMC administered 2.05 lakh doses against the target of 2.42 lakh doses, as of Friday night 10 pm.

The state, however, managed to administer a record number of doses with the previous highest single-day coverage seen on August 31 with over 8.95 lakh doses in a day. August 31 too was marked as a day of ‘mega drive’ in the state.

Of the state’s target of completing near 100 percent first dose coverage in at least 7,500 villages, as of Friday evening, it had managed to meet this target in 7,100-plus villages, according to a tweet from Remya Mohan, state mission director of National Health Mission. The state had already covered 5,906 villages with near 100 percent coverage of the first dose of the vaccine, prior to Friday.

In an exception, the megadrive was conducted until 10 pm across the state, as against the usual time limit of 5 pm or 6 pm on most days. Rajkot Municipal Corporation, however, decided to conduct a 24-hour-long drive, which started Thursday midnight at the state transport bus port and Race Course ring road, while also flagging off two night mobile vaccination vans, according to Municipal Commissioner Amit Arora. Vaccination at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital too is following a 24-hour cycle of vaccination, starting 12 am of September 16 and scheduled to continue until 12 am of September 17. Notably, both Ahmedabad and Rajkot are under night curfew, applicable from 11 pm.

RMC managed to almost meet its target with over 45,000 doses administered of the 49,500 doses that were allocated for the jurisdiction.

Bus depots as a vaccination site appeared to be a strategy by other districts, with Himmatnagar bus depot in Sabarkantha also setting up a vaccine booth at the spot, said a district health official. Sabarkantha had administered over 73,800 doses of the 1.10 lakh doses the district was allocated. AMC also conducted vaccination at 12 AMTS bus terminus and 15 BRTS stations.

The Surat civic body increased the number of the vaccination centres from 250 centres to 310. As per the details received from the SMC health department officials, the vaccination drive was carried out in all eight zones of Surat city, starting from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm. Among all the eight zones, the highest number of doses were administered in southeast zone– 31,627. According to an SMC health official, the city has managed to cover 92 percent of its vaccine-eligible population with the first dose while nearly 42 percent of the population have been fully vaccinated.

At Vadodara Municipal Corporation, a vaccination booth was also set up at the sidelines of a BJP event at Sayaji Nagar Gruh where Union Minister of Road Transport Nitin Gadkari was addressing party workers on the occasion of Modi’s birthday. The VMC, meanwhile, termed the day’s vaccination progress — with over 63,700 doses administered in its jurisdiction — as a “great moment”. VMC’s earlier single-day highest vaccination figure was achieved on May 24 when it had administered over 22,500 doses.

At some private malls in VMC jurisdiction, the vaccination drive is likely to continue until midnight on Friday.

At least six districts and one municipal corporation of the total 33 districts and eight municipal corporations, achieved less than 50 per cent utilisation of the stock that was made available to them, as of 10 p.m.

Surendranagar managed to complete near 100 per cent first dose coverage in one of the seven municipalities — Thangadh — a first for the district, as per district collector Amrutesh Aurangbadkar.

The district had, however, only managed to administer 45,500-odd doses as of Friday night, against the 1.26 lakh doses it was allocated, utilising about 36 per cent of the stock for the day. Kutch managed to use only about one-third of the 1.76 lakh doses it was allocated.

Some of the other laggard districts when it comes to meeting their target, also include Patan with 35 percent of its 1.10 lakh doses used and Chhota Udepur, where more than 37,000 doses were administered which only comprised 36 percent of the stock that was given to the district for the day.

Banaskantha, Jamnagar Municipal Corporation, Panchmahal and Valsad utilised 42 per cent of the stock made available to the respective jurisdictions.

On the other hand, Junagadh Municipal Corporation, which was allocated the lowest number of doses — 8,800 – among 33 districts and eight municipal corporations, exceeded its limit and administered 13,200-plus doses.

(With inputs from Gopal Kateshiya in Rajkot, Aditi Raja in Vadodara and Kamaal Saiyed in Surat)

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