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Crowding at hospitals raises risk of infection for vaccine beneficiaries

PUNE For the past two days, eligible beneficiaries under phase two of the Covid vaccination drive have recalled horrors of having to wait for hours to get the jab
By Steffy Thevar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 08:16 PM IST

PUNE For the past two days, eligible beneficiaries under phase two of the Covid vaccination drive have recalled horrors of having to wait for hours to get the jab.

Social distancing has gone for a toss in government hospitals.

Beneficiaries crowd the hospitals to get the jab and some senior citizens have gone three days without getting vaccinated yet.

The administration is now appealing to citizens to avoid crowding the Covid vaccination sites, many of which are hospitals with Covid-19 patients, adding to the risk of infection.

Siddharth Shirole, BJP MLA from Pune’s Shivajinagar constituency said, “I request all Punekars to be patient and not to approach vaccination centres without a scheduled appointment slot. Crowding of senior citizens & at-risk patients at the centres is counterproductive & is creating a high-infection zone. I also understand that there are several errors in listing addresses of the centres, including incorrect pin codes & incomplete locations. It will be updated & rectified soon.”

Additional municipal commissioner Rubal Agarwal said, “The technical glitches are not from our end and we are working on it. We would not like to encourage more walk-in vaccinations, as it would be better for crowd management and also for people’s own safety that they register first, get an appointment, and then come to the hospital. We are increasing the sites just for this reason.”

While vaccination went on smoothly at some centres, including Naidu hospital, Sassoon hospital, Sutar hospital and the Janata Vasahat clinic, other centres still saw technical glitches.

For example, at the Bhangire hospital run by the PMC, registrations are being accepted but vaccinations have not yet started.

Senior citizens are especially finding it difficult to get registered on the CoWin app.

Madhukar Joshi, a senior citizen from Katraj, said, “When I entered my Aadhar details to register my name, it did not happen. When I put in the PAN details, it showed that the beneficiary was already registered.”

Dhairyasheel Vandekar visited PMC’s Naidu hospital and had a pleasant experience. He said, “The doctors and staff were extremely courteous and attentive and made the experience very pleasant. With all the challenges, PMC is doing a good job vaccinating the citizens. I got the jab through advance registration, but it was not easy. I was continuously trying for two days with all the hospitals on the website and was lucky to get a slot for Wednesday afternoon.”

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