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Monday, January 18, 2021

Delhi prepares for shot in the arm

A total of 603 cold chain points have been identified across the city to serve as the immunisation centres.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi | Updated: January 13, 2021 2:53:27 am
Delhi prepares for shot in the armThe first batch of the Covishield vaccine reached Delhi’s central storage facility at Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital on Tuesday. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

The first batch of Covishield vaccine containing 2.64 lakh doses reached Delhi’s central storage facility at Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, amid high security, on Tuesday. From this hospital, which is located in East Delhi’s Dilshad Garden, the vaccines will be transported in a special vehicle to vaccination centres across the national capital.

A total of 603 cold chain points have been identified across the city to serve as the immunisation centres. According to officials, 22 boxes, each containing 1,200 vials of the vaccine, have been delivered. Each vial of 5 millilitres has 10 doses, which will first be administered to healthcare and frontline workers once the vaccination programme starts from January 16.

At hospitals shortlisted by the government for carrying out the immunisation programme, preparations are in full swing.

A total of 89 session sites — 40 government and 49 private hospitals — have been identified to administer the vaccine in the first phase.

“The vaccination roll-out is expected to be kicked off from Lok Nayak Hospital on Saturday in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain,” said a senior Delhi government official.

At the hospital — the Delhi government’s biggest Covid facility — authorities have ensured complete WiFi connectivity in and around stations where the vaccination process will be carried out so the CoWIN app for registration of beneficiaries can be used seamlessly. The hospital has prepared a list of around 4,000 healthcare workers who will be vaccinated during the drive.

Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of the hospital, told The Indian Express: “During the first day, we will be vaccinating 50 people but eventually our target will be to vaccinate at least 200 a day. We have one centre where 50 people will be administered the vaccine, but we will add three more centres in the coming weeks. Around 20 staff from the hospital have been put on the duty to ensure a smooth drive.”

A list of 2,25,000 healthcare workers has been prepared, who will be vaccinated in the first phase. The government will also include teachers who worked as frontline workers during the pandemic.

Dr A K Rana, medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, said: “A list of the registered people will be sent to the hospital. A separate waiting area has been prepared. We will then observe the beneficiary for a minimum 30 minutes for any adverse event. We have a dedicated ICU which will be close to the vaccination centre in case of any adverse outcome.” The hospital has prepared a list of around 7,000 healthcare workers for the vaccination programme.

The city will vaccinate 51 lakh people in the first phase, including police officers, civil defence volunteers, those aged above 50, and people aged below 50 with co-morbidities such as diabetes and heart ailments.

Dr Suneela Garg, a public health expert, said: “The idea of conducting the first phase in hospitals is to ensure ease of availability for staff members.”

Security stepped up at storage facility

Rajiv Gandhi hospital spokesperson Dr Chhavi Gupta said: “A three layered-security arrangement has been made at the periphery of the hospital. CCTVs have been installed inside and outside the campus. We have also deployed our security staff to man the storage facility.”

DCP (Shahdara) Amit Sharma said, “We have deployed around 30-40 personnel round the clock at the storage area.

We have also set up a control room inside the hospital and are allowing entry to people only if the hospital administration grants permission.”

DCP (Airport) Rajeev Ranjan added that PCR vans will monitor the site while on patrol.

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