April 2, 2021 2:59:52 am
Mumbai, with the help of 116 vaccination centres, including private hospitals, inoculated 37,563 people above the age of 45, as the third phase of the nationwide immunisation programme began on Thursday.
With everyone above the age of 45 eligible to receive the shot, 37 lakh Mumbai residents can seek to be vaccinated.
With over two months into the drive, centres across the city were on Thursday prepared to manage the crowd with an increase in the number of registration counters, vaccination booths and volunteers. After initial glitch for half an hour at a few centres in the morning, the drive progressed smoothly in the city.
A vaccination coordinator at V N Desai hospital in Santacruz East said, “Early in the day, we could not enter beneficiaries above 45 years without a comorbidity certificate in the CoWin portal. We thus started with those who had pre-registered.”
As opposed to long queues, people who received their first dose on Thursday were pleased with the facilities. Prabhadevi residents Sanjeev Gupta and his wife, who came to the BKC jumbo facility for their first dose, said: “The process was extremely smooth and the staff was well trained to answer all our queries. Within 10 minutes of our registration, we got our shots.”
With the beginning of the third phase, the BKC centre – one of those witnessing a high turnout – has increased its number of booths from 15 to 25, including a separate booth for those coming in for their second dose.
The centre is also among the few facilities that will be working in two shifts between 8 am to 9 pm. Till Wednesday, it was operational till 5 pm.
Shatabdi hospital at Kandivali, which has also started a Covid-19 ward two days ago, is still awaiting recruitment of trained staffers to increase its vaccination timings. On Thursday, the hospital, which has been witnessing a high turnout since last month, was operating six out of its seven booths, as one data operator has tested positive.
Many people, who had come to the BKC centre and Shatabdi hospital for Covaxin, had to return or were directed to Cooper hospital at Andheri West.
Devendra Jain (55), a cardiac patient who requested Covaxin instead of Covidshield at the BKC facility, said: “My doctor has suggested that I take Covaxin. Since it is not available here, I have been asked to visit Cooper
The vaccination coordinator at Cooper hospital, which is administering Covaxin in one of its 11 booths, said: “We have registered an increasing demand for Covaxin in the last 15 days. However, Covaxin stock is less compared to Covishield.”
Of the 116 vaccination centres in the city, 31 are located in municipal hospitals, 13 in state and central government hospitals and 72 in private hospitals.
Doctors, meanwhile, are requesting people to register and then come to take the jab. Dr Rajesh Dhere, Superintendent of the BKC facility, said: “To reduce the waiting period, I would request people to register first. We are accepting walk-ins and no one is being denied. However, for better management, those who are comfortable with using the application, should pre register.”
Chandrashekhar Pujari (55), who visited V N Desai hospital for his first dose, said: “I had registered on March 7 and was given the date of April 1 for vaccination. Since I was registered, I did not have to wait.”
Mumbai on Thursday reported 8,646 new cases, its highest one-day rise since the outbreak of the pandemic. This took the city’s overall caseload to 4,23,360.
Maharashtra reported 43,183 new cases, also its highest one-day rise since the pandemic began, which pushed the caseload to 28,56,163. The state reported 249 deaths during the day, another record since last October, taking the fatality count to 54,898.
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