Updated: July 2, 2021 12:27:40 pm
There was a stampede-like situation at a vaccination centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district on Thursday. Nearly 600 people turned up at a site in Lodikheda in the hope of receiving a shot. However, only 280 doses were available, and over 300 people had to be turned away.
The incident, which occurred on Thursday morning, was captured on video and has gone viral on social media. In the video, people can be seen waiting for the shutters of the vaccination centre to go up. When they are half open, people are seen ducking and rushing in to try and get a seat on the chairs set up inside.
According to District Immunisation Officer L N Sahu, a community hall in Lodikheda area of Sausar block was turned into an immunisation centre. A crowd assembled at the centre before it was opened at 8 am Thursday. The police were later deployed to bring the situation under control.
“The crowd tried to open the shutters themselves and get inside to ensure they were vaccinated. The situation was brought under control within 15 minutes. It sometimes happens that a larger crowd assembles at a certain time, and since this was in the morning, people who work in the fields had turned up for vaccination,” Sahu said.
Lodikheda lies about 60 km away from the district headquarters in Chhindwara, where centres provide free vaccination for people of all ages, who can walk in and get their doses. Rural blocks are being allocated 3,000 doses, while urban blocks are getting 4,000. These are distributed equally among the centres.
Chhindawar on Thursday administered 22,469 doses, while it was initially allocated 21,910 doses.
Tehsildar of Sausar block, Mahesh Aggarwal clarified there was no truth to the rumours that the crowd had assembled as the administration announced that people would be deprived of free ration if they weren’t vaccinated.
“People waiting for the vaccination centre to open barged in. Some were given tokens and those left out were asked to return on Friday. People are scared of the third wave of infections as Sausar is closer to Maharashtra, and therefore, they are showing up in large numbers for vaccination,” Aggarwal reportedly told media persons.
According to Chhindwara Collector Saurabh Suman, “For future course of action, we have asked all administrative officers to set up sites in the open. We have told local authorities that the situation should not be repeated and rules should be followed for setting up vaccination centers. The general guidelines say that vaccination centres should be in places that have a large ground and bigger rooms. There were certain violations in the Lodhikedga vaccination centre, and local authorities have been warned to not repeat it.”
Suman also said there is no vaccine hesitancy among people located close to Maharashtra. “If the district is given a target of 20,000, it is easily completed. Gradually, with more vaccines, more people will be able to get vaccinated. We have asked state for more vaccines,” he added.
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