(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Maharashtra ups Covid-19 vaccination centres to 511, drive to be 5 days a week

After the initial hesitancy, the turnout for vaccination had improved to 83.73% on Saturday, the fifth day of the vaccination drive as nine districts reported more than 100% turnout
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 12:05 AM IST

The Maharashtra government has decided to increase its Covid-19 vaccination centres from 290 to 511 and to hold the drive five days a week, instead of four, In view of its “adequate” stock of vaccine doses to inoculate 800,000 health workers and the improvement in response.

After the initial hesitancy, the turnout for vaccination had improved to 83.73% on Saturday, the fifth day of the vaccination drive as nine districts reported more than 100% turnout. The state has now decided to ramp up the number of centres to the number planned initially, with a target of 50,000 vaccinations daily. The state will complete its 100,000 mark of beneficiaries on Monday after having completed inoculation of 99,242 health workers. It has targeted to complete first doses of all health workers in the next four weeks.

“We have more than 1.8 million doses ready to cover all enrolled health workers with two shots. We have targeted to operate 511 centres after Centre allowed us to increase the number, and have activated more than 400 centres till Sunday evening. The number of centres is expected to be increased till Monday morning. Except Tuesdays and Sundays, the drive will be undertaken five days a week now on. We have allowed health workers to walk in for vaccination with vaccinators allowed to add beneficiaries out of the turn,” said Dr Archana Patil, director, state health services. On day 1 [January 16] of the drive, there were 285 centres.

Dr Patil said that although actual deadline for the completion of the first dose to all health workers is not set, they want to complete it at the earliest.

Another official from the department said that the Centre has also allowed increasing the strength of teams by one member each. “To weed out the difficulty in communication to the beneficiaries due to the glitches in CoWin app, the team of vaccinators has been allowed to contact beneficiaries personally to inform them about their turn. The beneficiaries, who did not turn up during their original schedule, are being adjusted in the subsequent session. At the centres with the good response, additional sessions are being held to complete registered health workers at the earliest.

The enrolment of the frontline workers for the inoculation is expected to be completed in next two days. Their actual inoculation is, however, expected to begin only after HCWs complete their first dose and an additional stock of vaccine for them is allotted by the Centre.

During the first five days of the vaccination, the response from HCWs went on increasing gradually. From 64% on day 1 on January 16, the percentage improved to 83.73% on Saturday. Backward districts with low human development index registered high response to inoculation. Hingoli (104%),Jalana (113%), Beed (111%), Gadchiroli (136%), Gondiya (143%), Wardha (119%) topped in the number of beneficiaries on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the state reported 2,752 new infections and 45 deaths, taking the tally to 2,009,106 and toll to 50,785 on Sunday. Mumbai clocked 479 new cases, taking the tally to 306,050 and seven deaths to push the toll to 11,304. State’s case fatality rate (CFR) stands at 2.53%, although the weekly CFR has fallen to 1.89% over last week.

Following Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Nashik, the other three cities with high number of cases reported 222, 253 and 105 cases on Sunday. The number of active cases in the state stands at 44,831, with highest active cases, 12,002, being in Pune. State’s recovery rate stands at 91.18%.

Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) still accounts for high percentage, 33.43%, or 920 cases, of the state’s daily caseload.

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