March 28, 2021 11:17:35 pm
FEWER PEOPLE in the Muslim-dominated areas of Ahmedabad city have turned up for Covid-19 vaccination despite awareness campaigns by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
According to AMC records, the civic body has inoculated over 3.2 lakh people till Saturday. Of the total, 28,383 (8.84 per cent) were vaccinated in the southwest zone, 29,201 (9.1 pc) in east zone and 38,944 persons (12 pc) in central zone. The three zones have nearly 60-70 PER CENT Muslims population.
Hazi Asratbaig, the Congress councillor of Muslim-dominated Maktampura ward, said, “The way in which Muslims were scared about getting tested for Covid-19 initially, has ALSO been witnessed during the vaccination drive. There have been several hearsays on the side-effects of the vaccines, so several people are not willing to take the jab.”
To encourage more people from the community to take the shots, the AMC had earlier approached Muslim legislators to come forward to take the vaccines. Neither of the two Congress MLAs from the community — Jamalpur MLA Imran Khedawala and Dariyapur MLA Gyasuddin Shaikh – have taken the vaccine shots, so far. The civic body also tried to create awareness through Friday namaz.
In Surat and Godhra too similar campaigns were initiated where the community showed reluctance to be inoculated.
“Despite campaigns, there has not been encouraging response from the Muslim-dominated areas. AMC recently also approached the corporators and MLAs to come forward and take the jab to send a positive message,” Dr Bhavin Solanki, AMC’s medical officer of health, said.
Until Saturday, AMC vaccinated 3,20,734 people across the seven zones in the city. The east and southwest zones, which have a higher Muslim concentration, recorded barely 8 and 9 per cent of the total. These areas include Sarkhej, Juhapura, Maktampura in the southwest zone and Bapunagar, Rakhiyal and Gomtipur areas in the east zone.
Also, Raikhad, Kalupur, Jamalpur and Dariyapur in the central zone recorded nearly 12 per cent of the total vaccination. In the north zone, including Saraspur, Naroda and Saijpur areas, 27,650 persons (8.6 per cent of the total) were vaccinated till Saturday.
Twenty-nine per cent of the total vaccination – the highest so far — was reported from the west zone, comprising Paldi, Vasna, Navrangpura, Stadium, Naranpura and Sabarmati. Of the 94,554 people vaccinated in the zone, 9,854 were frontline workers, 14,040 healthcare workers, 10,476 above 45 years with comorbid conditions and 60,184 above 60 years.
On Sunday, Khedawala told The Indian Express, “I spoke to the senior AMC health officials and assured them that I will get vaccinated in a day or two. I want to make this an event by ensuring that I take along as many people from my community as possible. Awareness about vaccines was also spread in the Shab-e-Baraat namaaz today… I have told people that getting the shots will soon become a necessity as per international standards and all those going for the Haz would be required to take the jab.”
On Sunday, vaccination commenced at Sabarmati jail and 77 inmates were inoculated, DySP Digvijaysinh Rana, SABARMATI JAIL SPOKESPERSON said.
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