On the occasion of International Women's Day, a special Covid vaccine centre for women was inaugurated at Thane Civil Hospital on Monday. (Praful Gangurde / HT Photo)
On the occasion of International Women's Day, a special Covid vaccine centre for women was inaugurated at Thane Civil Hospital on Monday. (Praful Gangurde / HT Photo)

Maharashtra Covid-19 task force pushes for home vaccination, 24/7 centres

In review meet with CM, state Covid task force asks state to get Centre’s nod; 90,249 general citizens for the vaccine across the state on Monday,
By Mehul R Thakkar
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 01:20 AM IST

The Maharashtra Covid-19 task force in a review meeting with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday requested the state government to seek permission to initiate home vaccination for the vulnerable population. It also suggested 24x7 vaccination centres to cover maximum population in a relatively short period.

The CM held the review meeting with task force members, district collectors and divisional commissioners of the state in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases in the state.

The state task force has asked the government to take permission from the Centre since the current norms by the Centre do not allow it. The task force has said that home vaccination will help in controlling the spread of Covid-19 and also bringing down fatality rate of the state.

Dr Rahul Pandit of Fortis Hospital, Mulund who is also a member of the state’s Covid-19 task force, said, “We suggested that the vulnerable population be vaccinated as quickly as possible to control the spread. This requires us to take the vaccination drive to the doorstep of citizens. This can be done to cover those who cannot come out or those who are very old.”

Dr Pandit added, “This decision of home vaccination will also help us bring down fatality. For this, the state will require the Central government’s permission, and hence we have requested them to take such permission.”

The task force has also requested the state government to focus on 24x7 vaccination, which was allowed by the Central government last week. However, state officials said they are having several issues with CoWIN app, due to which they are unable to have 24x7 vaccination centres at the moment.

Dr Shashank Joshi, another member of the task force, said, “Apart from home vaccination, 24x7 vaccination is something that has to be looked into aggressively to cover our vulnerable population. Also, in view of the increasing cases, we need to come back to our old drawing board that includes aggressive testing and contact tracing. Mere sealing of floors or buildings is not enough; tracing close contacts up to the ratio of 1:30 has to be activated.”

The Central team that visited affected areas of the state has instructed state government to take quick measures to contain the spread of the disease. “Accordingly the chief minister has directed district administrations to earmark micro containment zones. The areas which are most affected and have high positivity rate are to increase tracing to 30 people per infection. They have also been directed to operate the vaccination centres 24/7 in such areas,” an official from health department said.

State has around 70 such pockets with high positivity rate than their neighbouring areas.

Meanwhile, on Monday, 90,249 general citizens were inoculated across the state. Mumbai saw a record 32,714 vaccinations for citizens that included 29,502 senior citizens and 3,212 beneficiaries aged above 45 years who have comorbidities.

Further, in Mumbai on occasion of International Women’s Day on Monday, five sessions were conducted at five vaccination centres in the city exclusively for women, during which 8,092 women were vaccinated.

Special centres for women on Women’s Day

Seven vaccination centres were set up especially for women in Thane district on Monday to celebrate Women’s Day. Five such centres will fall under Thane Municipal Corporation jurisdiction, one in Kalyan-Dombivli and one at Thane Civil Hospital. A total of 180 women got the shot at the centre in Kalyan.

An officer from TMC added, “As it was Women’s Day, we did not want women to wait and hence made provision for a separate centre.”

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