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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Pune: Rush at swab collection centres after PMC directive seeking Covid negative report

The PMC has urged all establishments that are shut due to the restrictions to get their staff vaccinated during the period to enable smooth operations after the removal of restrictions in the city.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: April 7, 2021 7:14:14 pm
Covid-19, PunePeople wait for their turn at a vaccination centre in Pune (Express photo by Pavan Khengre)

The Pune Municipal Corporation’s directive to workers of essential services and other sectors allowed to operate amid the stringent Covid restrictions — to either get vaccinated or get a Covid-negative test report every 15 days — has led to crowding at swab collection centres across the city. The PMC is now trying to increase the number of centres for vaccination and testing in the city.

Some of the sectors allowed to operate are manufacturing, construction, banking and financial institutes, e-commerce, courier service, eateries and restaurants only for parcel facility, autorickshaws, cabs and private buses, marriage halls and private security agencies, among others.

However, it has categorically directed employees of these sectors to get vaccinated as per the eligibility criteria or get a negative RT-PCR test report with validity of 15 days.

“If the rules are not followed, then the person would be fined Rs 1,000 while the organisation where the person is working would be penalised with Rs 10,000. If the violations are frequent then the PMC will either suspend the license or ban operations till the end of pandemic,” stated the civic order.

The PMC has also urged all establishments that are shut due to the restrictions to get their staff vaccinated during the period to enable smooth operations after the removal of restrictions in the city.

“There are many employees working in essential services who are younger than 45 and are not yet eligible for vaccination. Thus, they will have to get a negative RT-PCR report for Covid every 15 days. However, this will put their life at risk as they will have to visit the swab collection centre for the test where actual patients would be testing themselves,” said Rakesh Shinde, owner of a small manufacturing unit.

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There is already a rush at vaccination centres and it was not possible for even those eligible for the vaccines to get inoculated by the deadline of April 10, he said.

Meanwhile, the civic body is trying to increase the number of vaccination centres across the city. “The Union government has given permission to 65 new hospitals to set up vaccination centres,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal. The PMC is also planning to increase the number of swab collection centres in addition to the existing 17 in the city.

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