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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

People coming to get jabs at govt hospitals may get infected, fears Punjab health dept

The Secretary of the Department Health and Family Welfare has already written a letter to all civil surgeons of Punjab to shift Covid vaccination centers out of the premises of government hospitals.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
May 12, 2021 10:28:09 pm
India covid vaccination, third wave, india coronavirus,People above the age of 18 are encouraged to get vaccinated. At Community Health Centre in Patiala on Wednesday. (Express Photo by Harmeet Sodhi)

The Punjab Health Department is in a bind. On the one hand, it has been working hard to convince construction workers in Punjab to get vaccinated. On the other, health officials are worried about people, including construction workers, walking into the civil hospitals to get the jabs, and thereby possibly exposing themselves to the virus.

Health department officials said that eligible beneficiaries and those still not eligible were coming to the government hospitals in search of vaccination and may get infected from positive patients.

The Secretary of the Department Health and Family Welfare has already written a letter to all civil surgeons of Punjab to shift Covid vaccination centers out of the premises of government hospitals.

The letter reads, “District Covid-19 vaccination centers are functioning for all eligible beneficiaries in the state. It has been noticed that vaccination sessions are being regularly conducted and eligible beneficiaries are rushing to such centers in the premises of government hospitals. Due to this, people coming to vaccination centers are likely to get infected from other Covid-19 positive patients, who are present on the premises of their hospital. All civil surgeons are advised to shift day centres outside civil hospital to the nearest government facilities, with proper arrangements as per standard guidelines for vaccination centres and while observing strict Covid protocols for safety of people.”

An official said, “Often when an eligible beneficiary comes to the civil hospital, they are not aware where they should go to get the jabs. He may enter the Covid ward or may come in contact with a Covid-19 patient. There is a high possibility of such unwanted interaction when anyone is visiting any hospital in Covid times.”

He added, “Then we have many people coming to hospitals who are not yet eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination. Such people are also coming to hospitals to get vaccination or check when they would get it. Most of these are young students, who want to go abroad for studies. They think that the vaccination will make them eligible for international travel.”

In the meantime, health department officials said they were trying to locate all construction workers who are eligible for vaccination but haven’t got their jabs so far.

“There are some problems. Some construction workrs are not registered with the labour department. Right now, we are giving the vaccines to registered workers. Among the registered workers too, there are many who do not want to get inoculated due to many rumours surrounding the vaccines. Most of the workers have a fear that they may get a mild fever after getting the vaccination and are hence not turning up,” said an official.

Health department has identified over 3 lakh construction workers, categorised as “high risk” by the government, for the vaccination drive.

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