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Delhi: Poll data, CoWin self-registrations to identify people below 50 with ailments

According to the plan drawn up by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC), after inoculating health and frontline workers, the focus will shift to those aged above 50 and those below 50 with comorbidities.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: January 21, 2021 1:03:10 pm
Covid vaccine drive, delhi covid vaccination, delhi vaccine rollout,CoWin, delhi news, indian expressThere are around 42 lakh people aged above 50 in Delhi. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

Identification of people below 50 with comorbidities will involve combing through hospital and health department records, surveys, fetching data from the Election Commission, and opening up the Co-Win app for self-registration, officials said Saturday.

According to the plan drawn up by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC), after inoculating health and frontline workers, the focus will shift to those aged above 50 and those below 50 with comorbidities.

While officials have estimated, based on electoral roll data, that there are around 42 lakh people aged above 50 in Delhi, drawing up an accurate district-wise list of those below 50 with comorbidities — a term referred to ailments such as diabetes, asthma, among others — will be complicated.

Dr Suneela Garg, a member of the state Covid task force for the vaccination programme, told The Indian Express that the registration of such people will be carried out through the Co-Win app. “Once self-registration begins through Co-Win, people can sign up and upload health certificates as proof. Accordingly a list will be drawn up,” Garg said.

The app hasn’t been made publicly available yet. Currently, it is being used as a back-end software in carrying out the vaccination drive of healthcare workers and frontline workers, who number around 1.89 lakh and 3.75 lakh in Delhi respectively.

However, district officials pointed out that the idea that everyone can use a mobile app was impractical. To ensure that the identification process is accurate, authorities will scan existing data with various departments and hospitals, while also making use of information collected during door-to-door surveys.

“In preparing the list of people below 50 with comorbidities, we will fetch data from the databases of various departments. For a list of those below 50, we will use the electoral rolls as the base. Subsequently, to carve out a separate category of those below 50 with comorbidities, we will look at data from the health department, hospital records, database of the social welfare department, among others. Some numbers were also generated during several rounds of the door-to-door survey last year,” a top Delhi government official said.

However, district magistrates have so far not been issued any directions on preparing the list of beneficiaries for this second leg of vaccination, since the government machinery is preoccupied with rolling out the drive and ironing out glitches, the official added.

The government’s socio-economic survey report, which covered a total of 1.02 crore people between November 2018 and November 2019, carries a section on persons with chronic illnesses in the national capital and will also be used as part of the identification process.

The report, which The Indian Express has been covering as part of an ongoing series, shows that 2.6 per cent (2.67 lakh) of Delhi’s population is suffering from some kind of chronic illness, out of which 50.29 per cent are male and 49.71 per cent female. Among those suffering from chronic illnesses, the highest proportion (36.33 per cent) is diabetic, 21.75 per cent have cardiac ailments, and 9.17 per cent are diagnosed with respiratory ailments such as asthma.

The highest concentration of diabetes patients, the survey found, is in the central district (43.34 per cent); northwest district has the maximum share of cardiac patients (26.20 per cent); and north district houses most people with respiratory issues (11.56 per cent).

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