A dry run of the Covid-19 vaccination drive was held across three locations — a government and private hospital, and a dispensary — in the national capital at 9 am on Saturday.
Inspecting the process at Maternity Mother and Child Welfare (MCW) Centre in Darya Ganj, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the Delhi government is prepared to vaccinate 1 lakh residents every day once the vaccination process begins.
“From storage to application, preparations have been made in Delhi for the rollout of the vaccine. 1,000 centres will be set up. Today, dry runs are being conducted in three different settings — GTB, a government hospital; Venkateshwar, which is a private hospital; and at a dispensary. The reason for this was to review the system at each centre. It looks flawless,” he said. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited the centres as well.
On preparations in case someone experiences any side effects, Jain said, “We have set up monitoring stations at all locations. Ten patients will be admitted at a time following all social distancing norms. Once the vaccine is given, the person will be under observation for 30 minutes. Every centre has been linked to a hospital; most centres are hospitals but the ones that are not have been duly linked. An emergency room has been set up for patients who show any kind of discomfort. If need be, the patient will be sent to nearby hospitals.”
At the centre in Darya Ganj, five ‘vaccination officers’ were assigned different duties to carry out the process quickly and efficiently. Twenty-five beneficiaries sat in the waiting area outside the lab as vaccination officer 1 — a police officer, homeguard or civil defence volunteer — checked if they had registered for the vaccine via the Co-Win app. Beneficiaries have to carry the same ID card they used to register.
Officer 2 then checked documents of each beneficiary, after which they were sent to the vaccination room. The room comprised an ice-lined refrigerator (ILR) and a deep freezer. Once the beneficiaries were given the shot by officer 3, they head to the observation room.
The purpose of this room is to check if the beneficiary has any side effects post vaccination. Here, officers 4 and 5 observed and tended to beneficiaries. Officer 4 also instructed beneficiaries to continue following Covid-appropriate behaviour and to ensure they come for the second round of vaccination. The date for the next round will be sent on their phones.
Thirty minutes later, they went back to officer 2, who updated the details on the system.
For the dry run, the 25 beneficiaries were chosen from anganwadi number 36 in Darya Ganj. Among them was Manju Prasad (47). She said, “The entire process was quite seamless; it took less than an hour. Once the vaccine is out, I would like to get vaccinated… it is for our safety.”
Arvind Rana, SDM, Kotwali, said, “The centre is linked to Sanjeevan Hospital. When the vaccine is rolled out depends on the government, but we are prepared. Our target is to vaccinate 100 people every day.”
The process was similar in the DEM building at GTB Hospital, where 25 hospital staff from across departments volunteered for the dry run. It was completed by 11.30 am. Beside the vaccination room was a storage room with two ILRs and a deep freezer.
A nursing official explained that the vaccines will be stored in the ILR: “Conditioned ice packs, which will be placed on the vaccines once they are taken out, will be kept in the deep freezer.” Posters advising people to continue following Covid-appropriate behaviour were also put up at the centre.
Jain said healthcare workers will be first in line to get vaccinated: “After healthcare workers, other frontline workers like police, sanitation and Jal Board workers will get the vaccine, followed by all those over 50 and those under 50 with co-morbid conditions.”
Regarding the cost, he said, “Medicines and treatment are anyway free in Delhi. The vaccine will be free too.”
Cases dip below 500
The daily Covid-19 case count in Delhi dipped below 500 Saturday, a first since May 17 last year. The positivity rate remained below 1%. Saturday’s Covid-19 bulletin put the daily case count at 494, an outcome of 39,591 RT-PCR tests and 27,773 rapid antigen tests. It translates to a positivity rate of 0.73%. Positivity rate is the total number of positive tests against total tests.
“First time less than 500 cases in 7 months (since May 17). Positivity reduced to 0.73% from15.26% on Nov 7. Positivity less than 1% for last 11 days. Active cases reduced to 5,342 from 44,456 on Nov 13. Though third wave is going down, be careful and observe all precautions,” Jain tweeted.
The toll reached 10,571 with 14 new deaths, the bulletin said, putting the death rate based on last 10 days’ data at 3.28 per cent.
The number of containment zones has also reduced considerably. By the first week of December, the city had over 6,000 containment zones, which has now come down to 3,751.
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