Updated: June 6, 2021 8:24:09 am
Vadodara city police, Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), along with its Joint Enforcement Team (JET), began vaccinating Covid-19 “super spreaders” identified in 50 hotspots in the city. On Saturday, in the first round, the VMC vaccinated 27 super spreaders after the She Team of the Vadodara police registered the individuals on the CoWIN application.
Commissioner of Police, Vadodara City, Shamsher Singh, told this newspaper that the She Teams of the Vadodara Police had been instructed to identify and help super spreaders register on the CoWIN application in order to initiate their vaccinations as part of a pro-active exercise to curb the spread of the virus.
Singh said, “About 10 days ago, we began the process of identifying the super spreaders and every assistant commissioner of police (ACP) and the police inspectors under them were asked to prepare a list of the hotspots in their jurisdiction. We identified 50 hotspots, mainly vegetable and fruit markets as well as local markets in the city. The teams then went around helping the vendors register on the CoWIN app. We realise that many of the vendors did not understand the process of registering for the vaccines. So, unless they are registered on the application, they cannot be vaccinated. The police She Teams facilitated this. We also included auto drivers of the city in this drive.”
The list of super spreaders prepared by the police and registered on the application was then followed up by the local ward office of the VMC, who ensured that the super spreaders were vaccinated directly, without needing to book appointment slots and line up at vaccination centres. “The idea behind the initiative was to be facilitators instead of enforcers. We realised that we can keep cracking down on Covid-19 violations but we also need to ensure that they are protected and vaccinated and not just fined for lapses on their part. The process of the registrations is still on as it is an ongoing drive, but we have seen 27 of them being vaccinated on Saturday,” Singh said.
VMC Medical Officer for Health Dr Devesh Patel said, “The police teams are coordinating in this drive to vaccinate the super spreaders. After they are registered, the VMC officers coordinate with them to check the vaccination centres where unbooked appointment slots are available. The police teams will take them to such centres and have them vaccinated as per the process.”
In the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive, Vadodara has achieved 59.65% coverage of both doses, including 51.71% of the first dose of 18-44 age group. Among the age group of 45 to 60, the coverage of those who have taken the second dose is 17.76%. Patel added that the vaccination coverage of the age group of 45-60 has been slow due to the hesitation by people. “The people in that age group are still unwilling. So, since the first dose has happened over a period of time and the Covishield vaccine has a waiting period of 84 days before the second dose, the overall percentage is less. We are trying to spread awareness by involving religious leaders and local corporators to encourage people to take the vaccination,” Patel said.
On Sunday, doctors and religious leaders of the Muslim community in Vadodara have planned a vaccination awareness drive in minority pockets of the city to initiate the community to register and take the jab, Patel said.
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