March 5, 2021 12:32:49 am
Maharashtra immunised over 75,000 people on Thursday, the highest so far since the Covid-19 vaccination drive began in state. From Wednesday, this is a 47 per cent jump in vaccinations.
At least 45,474 senior citizens and co-morbid group aged above 45 years received their first dose.
In Mumbai, the process of vaccination became less time-consuming, with people getting a shot in less than two hours as opposed to three to four hours in the first couple of days.
Mumbai vaccinated 22,975 people on Thursday. Ten more hospitals will become vaccination centres. Mumbai will have over 50 centres from Friday.
“Today we had more than 1,000 vaccination booths in the state, of which 200 were from the private sector. We are now going to reach the primary health centre level to cover grassroots population,” said Dr Archana Patil, director (family welfare), Directorate of Health Services. From 40 vaccination centres in Mumbai, BMC will scale up to over 50 centres from Friday.
Barring a few hiccups, the Co-WIN system ran smooth on Thursday. In Lilavati Hospital, Chief Operating officer Dr V Ravishankar said they could only vaccinate those who had pre-registered and booked a slot. “At our hospital, the software was not allowing on-spot registration for some reason. A lot of people turned up without registration and we had to send them back,” he said. The hospital immunised close to 200 till evening.
In Saifee Hospital, the Co-WIN software took 15-20 minutes to identify and register each recipient. “Several people just walked in without identification card or documents. We had to turn them away,” said medical director Dr Vernon Desa.
Private hospitals have been instructed to carry on immunisation until 6 pm. BMC is yet to start evening shifts. “Planning on going on for that, if demand continues to be high we may begin evening shifts. Initially we had planned evening shifts but at that point Government of India had not provided that option,” said Dr Sheela Jagtap, BMC immunisation officer.
Hospitals improvised on ways to manage crowds based on their capacity. In Bombay hospital, a separate ground floor space was reserved for vaccination with facility for tea, coffee and water. In Hiranandani hospital, the counter to register and submit documents was outside hospital gates to reduce crowding inside lobby. People were seated on alternate chairs to ensure physical distancing. Until now, the huge turnout was making physical distancing impossible.
Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant with Bombay hospital, said 226 people were vaccinated by evening in the hospital. “We have enough staff to continue vaccination 24×7. We are waiting for BMC to give permission,” he said.
State officials said not all hospitals have bandwidth to conduct 24×7 vaccinations. “We have issued guidelines to include evening shifts but it depends on whether hospitals have human resources for it,” Dr Patil, form DHS, said.
In Bhatia hospital, close to 180 people got vaccinated. “A lot of people came without registration. Since the Co-WIN server was slow, it took 15-20 minutes per person to feed details. The software worked very slow at least twice in the day. Even for those who had pre-registered, details were not showing on the portal and we had to feed all details again,” said Dr RB Dastur, medical director in the hospital.
In Global hospital, more people visited to inquire than for vaccination. “Several people with thyroid, comorbidities came to know if they are eligible, people also came to check the facility before getting their parents. We are advising people with co-morbidities to pre-register as scrutiny of documents will take time and we can’t do it at the hospital counter,” said Dr Vivek Talaulikar, medical director.
Masina hospital will start the vaccination camp from Friday. Dr Satyendra Mehra, medical director, said they have a capacity for 300 vaccinations a day. The addition of 13 private hospitals in the vaccination drive has considerably reduced load from government centres.
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