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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Pune: BJP on spree to open new vaccination centres, PMC faces staff shortage

“The demand for vaccination centres across Pune is increasing from elected representatives, mainly of the ruling BJP. There are over 200 proposals submitted by the elected representatives to start vaccination centres in their electoral area,” said a civic officer.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: April 26, 2021 9:11:09 pm
Covid-19, PunePeople wait for their turn at a vaccination centre in Pune (Express photo by Pavan Khengre)

WITH THE ruling BJP in the PMC on a spree of inaugurating government-run vaccination centres across the city, former party legislator Medha Kulkarni has highlighted the “chaotic situation” due to poor management at these centres even as the civic administration faces a shortage of skilled staff to man these centres.

Out of 170 vaccination centres in the city, over 100 have been set up by the civic administration, where the Covid-19 vaccine is being administered for free. Elected representatives are seemingly in a race to open maximum number of vaccination centres in their electoral area. With the vaccination opening up to all aged 18 and above from May 1, this would make the situation tough.

“The demand for vaccination centres across the city is increasing, especially from elected representatives, mainly of the ruling BJP. There are over 200 proposals submitted by elected representatives to start vaccination centres in their electoral area,” said a civic officer.

Mayor Murlidhar Mohol and state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, who is also a legislator from Kothrud Assembly segment, have inaugurated many vaccination centres in the last few days.

“New vaccination centres are being set up with permission from the Centre, but vaccine shortage has created a problem. Thus, the civic administration is providing only 50 doses per day for each new centre on the insistence of elected representatives,” said the officer, adding that the increase in centres is also creating a staff shortage.

“There should be government staff at vaccination centres of the PMC, but we don’t have adequate staff,” the civic officer said.

Kulkarni, who visited various vaccination centres in Kothrud Assembly segment after receiving complaints, has written a letter to the municipal commissioner and district collector on the “chaotic situation arising out of improper management at government-run vaccination centres”.

“There is a lot of chaos and confusion in many centres. People are suffering due to lack of proper management. The tokens are issued on a first-cum-first-serve basis, and this has led to queues from the early hours. If beneficiaries issued a token on the previous day did not get vaccine on the given day, they are administered the vaccine the next day and new tokens are not issued,” she said, adding that senior citizens with scheduled second doses were not being given priority.

Kulkarni said some people were returning home after waiting in line for five hours. “Also, there is no affirmation on which vaccine would be administered at the centre, so people have to check daily,” she said, adding that Covid safety protocols were being violated at these centres due to crowding.

“The administration should put up a list of beneficiaries of the vaccine for the next day and the name of the vaccine to avoid confusion,” she said, adding that there was a need for volunteers.

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