November 3, 2021 11:25:25 pm
Almost three weeks after the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) declared that it has vaccinated 100 percent of the eligible population with the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the civic body has found that nearly 15 percent of its employees who are frontline workers are yet to take even a single jab.
In a meeting held a couple of days ago, Surat Commissioner BN Pani had instructed the heads of all departments to check if those working in their respective departments are partially or fully vaccinated.
The clerks were asked to prepare a report on the number of employees who have taken their first or second doses, and those who have not taken vaccination at all.
A copy of the report, accessed by The Indian Express, shows that only 72.85 percent of the SMC employees have been vaccinated with at least a single dose. Of the total 21,106 eligible employees, 17,880 employees have taken the first dose, 15,376 have taken the second, while 3,226 employees have not taken even a single dose. A total of 2,504 employees are yet to take their second dose.
“We have come to know that many of our employees who were dealing with some illnesses or were pregnant had refused to take the vaccine. We are working on those who are left behind,” said SMC deputy commissioner Kamlesh Naik.
Meanwhile, Surat Sudhrai Kamdar (Staff) Mandal President Iqbal Shaikh said the civic body has warned of salary cuts for those staff who are yet to be vaccinated. “We met SMC commissioner Pani a few days ago.
He told us that the Class 3 and Class 4 employees have not taken the vaccine. He said their salaries would be cut if they fail to take the vaccine. We told him they should be given one month to get the vaccination, failing which, a penal measure could be taken, except that of a salary cut,” he said.
On October 6, Pani had tweeted that SMC had achieved 100 percent first dose vaccination for its eligible population. The data he then shared showed that as of October 5, the city had vaccinated 34.36 lakh of its 34.32 lakh eligible population with the first dose, thus covering a little more than 100 percent.
When quizzed about the gap being discovered now, Pani said, “We are going through the reasons given by each and every individual to find out why they have not taken the vaccine. If we find their reasons not genuine, we will take steps against them. We have come to know that many of our employees’ family doctors had advised them not to take the vaccines. We will also check the gravity of their illnesses, individually.”
Covid-19 vaccination had begun in Surat city with the frontline workers and vulnerable population on January 16