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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Mumbai: BMC discontinues walk-in vaccinations

The move comes in the backdrop of chaotic scenes witnessed outside centre across Mumbai on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
May 7, 2021 3:47:29 am
vaccination, Mumbai, Covid-19 India Second Wave, Mumbai coronavirus cases, Mumbai covid-19 cases, Mumbai news, indian expressSecurity personnel close the gates of a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Mumbai as they run out of vaccines. (PTI)

Friday onwards, citizens in Mumbai will not be able to avail the walk-in facility for Covin-19 vaccination as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to discontinue with the option following the chaos that was witnessed outside a few vaccination centre on Wednesday.

The move comes in the backdrop of chaotic scenes witnessed outside centre across Mumbai on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The BMC has made it mandatory for every person wishing to get vaccinated to get an appointment on the Co-Win portal.

However, citizens above 45 years of age, due for the second dose of Covaxin, will be exempted if they produce the provisional certificate of the first dose in the form of a soft or hard copy. Health care workers and other frontline workers, too, will be exempted.

On Wednesday afternoon, overcrowding was witnessed outside some vaccination centre. A stampede-like situation was averted by officials at the BKC jumbo facility, where people had started gathering from 8 am and some were seen breaking the barricade at the facility.

“Covin-19 vaccination centre are getting overcrowded and it becomes difficult to maintain social distancing and Covin-appropriate behavior. Therefore, it is hereby directed that all citizens who wish to get vaccinated against COVIN-19 shall in advance register themselves on the Cowin portal and also book the appointment slot at the vaccination centre of their choice on the same portal before proceeding to the vaccination centre,” according to a circular issued by Municipal Commissioner IS Chahal.

Following Wednesday’s incidents, heavy police deployment was seen outside the two largest vaccination centre — BKC and Nesco — on Thursday.

Owing to a shortage of supply, several centre allowed only people requiring a second dose to walk into the vaccination centre. Post noon, BKC, which has the capacity to vaccinate 8,000 citizens, discontinued the drive for those above 45 years of age.

In Nesco jumbo centre, which has the capacity to immunise 6,000 people a day, the stock was over by 2pm. The centre, which usually functions in two shifts, worked only in one shift.

Dr Neelam Andrade, the dean at the centre, said since limited Covaxin stock is left, they are not giving the first dose of the vaccine to the people. IN JJ hospital too, no stock was left on Thursday, said in-charge Dr Lalit Sankhe. In RN Cooper hospital, dean Dr Pinakin Gujjar said with limited doses, he is scheduling vaccination on limited days every week.

Long queues were seen outside Dahisar and Nesco jumbo facility, Rajwadi and KEM hospital on Thursday. Due to technical failure, the new vaccination centre at Dharavi Transit Camp could not be activated.

BMC, which has been trying to improve the daily vaccination numbers, has been struggling with the inadequate stock since last month, with vaccination centre shut for weeks.

Even as the civic body is planning to increase the number of vaccination centre at private hospitals to 100 in the next two days, all the existing 75-odd private centre, barring two, are shut since April 28, due to the unavailability of vaccine doses.

In all, there are 153 vaccination centre in the city.

On Thursday, 60,153 citizens were vaccinated, taking the count of people who have received the first dose to 19.99 lakh, and both doses to 5.8 lakh.

Meanwhile, vaccination for citizens in the 18 to 44 age group continued on Thursday. Till now, 13,303 citizens in the age group have been vaccinated in the city. To cater to the age group, the BMC has added three more vaccination centre – at Maashaeb Meenatai Maternity home in Chunabhatti, PWD community hall in Bandra (east) and MCGM parking, World Tower in Lower Parel.

On May 1, BMC had opened five centre for the vaccination of the 18-44 group.

(INPUTS BY TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA)

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