After managing to bring down the count of active coronavirus cases under its limits from 19,000 to 5,000, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is now gearing up to administer vaccines for protection from the viral infection, with frontline healthcare workers in the city being prioritised. PMC administration officials have begun the process of collecting the information of health workers, so that they may be covered under the vaccination drive against Covid-19 as per the government’s strategy.
“The PMC has, so far, received the data of 50,000 healthcare workers who will get priority for the vaccine, once it is developed. We have sought detailed information about the staff from all government as well as private health facilities. This list is being prepared to ensure that they are given vaccination in priority as soon as it is available with the civic body,” said Vaishali Jadhav, Assistant Medical Officer, adding that data of more healthcare workers is expected in the next few days.
She said that clear instructions have been imparted for priority to be given to frontline health workers of private and government hospitals, private practitioners and government and private nursing colleges and medical colleges.
“Frontline health workers also include those involved in testings and surveys during the pandemic,” Jadhav said.
As per PMC officials, there are a total of 83 government health facilities in the city — including those of the state government, the Union government and the civic body — with 3,534 health care workers having been registered with the civic body till date.
Of the 2,994 private health facilities in the city, 2,358 have submitted their data to the PMC.
“A total of 48,000 health care workers in the private health facilities have registered with the PMC so far,” Jadhav said.
Another senior civic officer said that the PMC data collection is being undertaken as per instructions of the state government.
“It is expected that vaccination for health care workers would start as early as in February next year, provided that it is available to the civic body. The vaccine is still in the trial stages and we hope that it is approved for the public at large, considering the positive reports,” he said.
The PMC has been appealing to local residents to follow preventive measures to avoid getting infected as health experts have warned of another wave post the Diwali festival, during December and January.
Meanwhile, the PMC has urged its staff to participate in a study undertaken by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to ascertain the way the viral infection spreads among those coming in contact with asymptomatic patients.
“Many individuals from various organisations were working during the lockdown. There were police personnel, civic staff and those on emergency duty who performed their duties by putting their lives at risk. It cannot be ruled out that these individuals might have been infected by asymptomatic Covid-19 patients. Thus, the NIV has undertaken the study to find the way the infection is spreading,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal.
PMC staffers have been asked by the NIV to undergo checkups for the same at the civic body headquarters on Tuesday, Agarwal added.
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