With an ambitious target to vaccinate India’s entire population by the end of December this year, several of the most populous states across the country need to ramp up their speed of inoculation. And while the availability of vaccines is the main issue in some states, vaccine hesitancy has also emerged as one of the foremost reasons for many Indians remaining unvaccinated even now. To counter such problems, Madhya Pradesh police seem to have adopted a new method to encourage people to get the vaccine.
Police in Madhya Pradesh’s Niwari has been honouring those who have taken the Covid-19 vaccine with a badge that has the following message: “I’m a patriot as I’m vaccinated". The cops did not stop there. Those who have not yet got inoculated are being made to wear a poster with the message, “Stay away from me as I am not vaccinated yet".
#WATCH Police in Madhya Pradesh's Niwari honour those who have taken COVID19 vaccine with a badge that says, "I'm a patriot as I'm vaccinated", & those who haven't got vaccinated being made to wear a poster carrying a message, "Stay away from me as I am not vaccinated yet" pic.twitter.com/cmmv9HrlSf— ANI (@ANI) June 9, 2021
The rather stark response came as a shock to many on social media after photos and videos of the incident, shared by news agency ANI, went viral on social media.
The incident comes after the Madhya Pradesh government on Monday announced that the unlocking process for Bhopal would begin on June 10, with markets being permitted to open. On Monday, the city reported 571 coronavirus positive cases and 32 fatalities, taking the tally to 7,85,767 and the toll to 8,369, a health department official told PTI.
Meanwhile, the ‘Tika Lagao –Dukan Khulwao’ slogan is being popularised by the administrations for unlocking. Markets have been allowed to function from 10 am to 8 pm, six days a week.
Madhya Pradesh is among the five of the country’s six most populous states in terms of the 18-plus population that face the task of raising the daily vaccination levels five-fold or more. The others include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.