NMMC hospital staff collects swab samples of commuters for rapid antigen and RT-PCR test at Nerul railway station in Navi Mumbai.(Bachchan Kumar/HT photo)
NMMC hospital staff collects swab samples of commuters for rapid antigen and RT-PCR test at Nerul railway station in Navi Mumbai.(Bachchan Kumar/HT photo)

Civic bodies in Thane district get ready to store vaccine

As plans spring up to roll out Covid-19 vaccine by next year, Thane district is preparing for the vaccination process and awaiting further guidelines from the state government
By Ankita G Menon, Thane
PUBLISHED ON DEC 05, 2020 12:44 AM IST

While the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) claimed to be well prepared to immunise the whole city within seven days after the vaccine is approved, other municipal corporations in the district are also making arrangements for vaccinators and deep freezers to store the vaccines.

As plans spring up to roll out Covid-19 vaccine by next year, Thane district is preparing for the vaccination process and awaiting further guidelines from the state government.

Under the guidance of the Thane district collector, a task force committee has been formed. This panel includes health officers from rural areas, various municipal corporations and municipal councils within the district.

Manish Renge, District Health Officer, Thane District, said, “We have prepared a strategy for immunisation, a list of 55,000 health workers from across the district has been made till now. We have prepared vaccinators conducting routine immunisation for the Covid vaccine as well. If needed, we shall rope in more people and train them as well. We are awaiting guidelines from the state government. Moreover, health officers have been asked to make necessary preparations within their jurisdiction.”

Dayanand Katke, Health Officer, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, said, “We have the capacity to store vaccines between two degrees Celsius and eight degrees Celsius. For temperatures lower than that, we will have to make arrangements. Hence, we are waiting for guidelines from the state government to know if we need additional provisions for storing the vaccines. At present we are in the process of collecting and making a database of health workers who will be a priority for the immunisation process.”

A meeting of the district task force committee was held on Thursday. Kailas Pawar, civil surgeon, Thane district, said, “We have given time till December 15 for all municipal corporations to submit their list of health workers. The number of health workers may reach one lakh by then. Based on these figures, we have to make provisions for vaccine storage and immunisation. The vaccines from different countries will require various temperatures and different kinds of cold storage. We are prepared with the basic ones but we will need additional provisions in case temperatures have to be less than minus-17 degrees.”

Thane district had conducted Measles Rubella vaccination last year. The basic provisions made for the same includes vaccinators and cold storage facilities. The district has kept the same facilities for Covid-19 vaccines as well for now.

Meanwhile, the TMC has claimed that they can immunise the whole city within seven days. “We have made provisions for cold storage and deep freezers at health centres, where we can store around one lakh vaccines per day. As the vaccine will arrive in batches, we won’t need huge spaces, if there are any guidelines from the state Government regarding the same, we will surely implement them. However, as of now, we have made arrangements to provide area-wise vaccinations,” said Dr Raju Murudkar, TMC health officer.

The TMC is currently making arrangements for vaccination centres in various wards such that they can easily reach out to the entire city population and complete the immunisation process at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has prepared a list of 4,572 health workers from 413 private and government hospitals within its jurisdiction. Provisions of around 242 people who will indulge in the vaccination process have been made already by the civic body.

Dr Pratibha Panpatil, epidemic officer, KDMC, said, “We are still in the process of conducting meetings and planning for the vaccination. As soon as we get guidelines from the state government we will implement it as per needs and provisions within KDMC jurisdiction.”

Thane district notices a drop in active cases

In the last one week, Thane district has seen a slight dip in active cases from 16,066 on November 28 to 15,140 on December 3. Till now, Thane district has recorded 2.4 lakh Covid positive cases. The mortality rate in the district has also come down to 2.47 per cent. A total of 5,334 deaths has taken place in the city due to Covid.

In September, the recovery rate was 86.60 per cent and has now reached 94.23 per cent with less than 15,000 active cases. KDMC has so far reported the maximum number of Covid cases at 58,501 followed by Navi Mumbai, 52,249 and Thane city, 51,630. Out of the total deaths, Thane city has recorded 1,159, Navi Mumbai 1,019 and Kalyan-Dombivli 936.

“With testing labs in every municipal corporation and rural areas, we have ensured that the number of testing does not decline within the district. This has helped us keep a tab of the number of cases and to keep cases in control within the district,” said Rajesh Narvekar, collector, Thane District.

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