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Pune: Industry leaders want private sector involvement in vaccination drive

Another lockdown, industry leaders said, would be fatal to the Indian economy.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
February 18, 2021 1:20:36 pm
As per the guidelines, citizens over 50 years of age or comorbidities would be next to get the vaccine.

As India prepares to roll out the third phase of Covid-19 vaccination, the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce appealed to the government to involve the private sector in the process and ease the burden on the public healthcare sector.

Sudhir Mehta, president of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) made a strong plea for involving private hospitals and NGOs in the next round of vaccination. “Given the size of our population, it would be a herculean task .. but thanks to our successful fight against polio we can achieve this. Involving the private sector would surely make the work easier,” he said.

Earlier this week, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had expressed concern about the spike in cases in the state. Urging people to wear masks and follow social distancing, the Chief Minister has threatened to invoke another lockdown in the state in the event of cases peaking.

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Another lockdown, industry leaders said, would be fatal to the Indian economy. Abhay Bhor, president of Forum for small and medium scale industries, said the vaccination drive should include industrial workers. “They are the one who come daily to work and thus needs to be protected. For the industry to survive we need the workers. Thus we demand that workers be vaccinated on priority,” he said.

The first two phases of the vaccine roll out saw the frontline workers and healthcare professional getting their shots. The third phase, which is expected to be announced soon, will see those above 50 years of age and with comorbities. Access and distribution of the vaccine is presently controlled by the government authorities, with beneficiaries required to register on its flagship Co-WIN platform.

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