Updated: July 2, 2021 9:04:20 am
Following directives of the Bombay High Court to formulate a policy to prevent fake or unauthorised vaccination camps in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday submitted before the court additional draft guidelines for organising private vaccination camps in housing societies, workspaces and educational institutes.
The draft guidelines stipulate the appointment of a nodal officer from the host housing society, workplace or educational institution, who will be responsible to monitor vaccination-related activities and inform the local health authority and police in case of any violations or malpractices by remaining “vigilant”.
Upon receipt of information, the BMC medical health officer (MHO) will confirm the registration of the private Covid vaccination centre (PCVC) facilitating the drive, before the camp begins.
The nodal officer appointed by the housing society, workplace or educational institution will have to verify that the PCVC engaged in the drive is registered on the CoWin portal by contacting the local health authority, the guidelines added.
Also, the nodal officer and the housing society, the workplace or the educational institution will have to inform details of the drive and the PCVC engaged to respective MOHs and police at least three days in advance.
Moreover, the registered PCVC will be required to appoint its own nodal officer to work in coordination with the nodal officer of the housing society, workplace or educational institution. He or she, besides ensuring that storage and transport protocols are being followed, will also ensure availability and deployment of trained data entry operators, verifiers and vaccinators at the immunisation site.
Both the nodal officers will have to ensure that all beneficiaries get a link for a digital certificate after vaccination. Furthermore, a nodal officer of the local health department will randomly visit such vaccination sites, the draft guidelines stated.
The BMC has also issued communications to the registrar of cooperative housing societies and educational authorities to intimate housing complexes and educational institutions under them to ensure that vaccination drives are conducted only through PCVCs registered on CoWin.
Moreover, HC said that the students who have to travel abroad for further education and are victims of fake or unauthorized vaccination, should approach the Court and if seriously affected, can file an intervention to avail orders on the same.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Siddharth Chandrashekhar – represented by advocate Anita Shekhar-Castellino – seeking priority slots for the elderly and the court’s intervention on issues people face while booking slots on CoWin.
On June 29, the HC, while observing “state’s failure” in preventing unauthorised vaccination drives, had asked the BMC to inform it of the measures taken to verify what was administered to the over 2,000 victims of such camps. The HC had asked the state and BMC to formulate a specific policy to prevent such incidents in future.
On Thursday, senior counsel Anil Sakhare, representing BMC, said that the civic body is collecting information on victims of fake drives and will take measures to properly vaccinate them. He added that BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal will sign the draft guidelines on Thursday.
Expressing satisfaction, the HC directed the BMC to ensure the people are informed of the same as soon as possible. While permitting it to implement the additional guidelines for private camps, the HC posted the next hearing on July 15.
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