The jumbo care facility at Bandra-Kurla Complex is one of the vaccine centres in Mumbai. (Pratik Chorge/HT)
The jumbo care facility at Bandra-Kurla Complex is one of the vaccine centres in Mumbai. (Pratik Chorge/HT)

Covid-19 vaccine: CoWIN server slows down, leads to chaos

With the health department unable to receive the link to send messages to registered individuals, officials at vaccination centres were forced to call each beneficiary to provide the requisite information
By Rupsa Chakraborty
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 12:49 AM IST

A day before the nationwide mass inoculation programme, the Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) app developed by the Centre to monitor and track the inoculation process, slowed down after developing technical glitches.

As a result, confusion prevailed till late evening as the registered healthcare workers failed to receive information about their vaccination centres and timings.

As per protocol, health workers who wish to be vaccinated, have to register on the app. With the health department unable to receive the link to send messages to registered individuals, officials at vaccination centres were forced to call each beneficiary to provide the requisite information.

“Due to some technical glitches, the server of CoWin app has slowed down. Thus, we aren’t able to send message to the registered beneficiaries. So we have created a WhatsApp group, where all the beneficiaries of each district have been added, and we are sending a message in those groups, informing them about the vaccination centres and timings,” said state immunisation officer Dr Dilip Patil.

Around 7pm, BMC officers sought permission from the state to start informing the registered healthcare workers individually but they were asked to wait longer. The permission was granted around 9pm and by 10pm, BMC health officers released the list of those registered to all the Covid-19 war rooms at the respective wards to call the healthcare workers.

“We worked so hard only for all our efforts to go in drain at the last minute. We’ve asked all the officers at the respective war rooms to call and send information to the beneficiaries individually. This will go on till late night,” said a senior health officer who was at BMC health office, making arrangements at 11pm. Till the time of going to the press, officers were calling the registered individuals.

The development has raised concerns among those in-charge of the vaccination centres. “We have the app but we haven’t received the link yet. We are personally informing healthcare workers about the timing for the vaccination,” said the dean of one of the BMC-run centres. “This might be the biggest hurdle tomorrow as we need to verify the details of the beneficiaries,” the dean added.

On a regular basis, hospitals have to make a roster of their medical staff. Due to the confusion, hospital staffers also had to wait till late night to make the roster. “We don’t know who will get called for the vaccination. So we couldn’t even make the rota of our duty till late night. There is so much confusion,” said a doctor from BYL Nair Hospital.

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