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BMC Receives 90,000 Covishield Doses Amid Complaints of Vaccine Shortage in Mumbai

A health worker conducts screening of passengers at Dadar Station, Mumbai. (PTI)

A health worker conducts screening of passengers at Dadar Station, Mumbai. (PTI)

The municipal body said the vaccines will be distributed to the civic and government-run vaccine centres for vaccination.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Saturday received 99,000 doses of Covishield vaccine after it complained of a shortage amid rising cases of COVID-19 in Mumbai. The municipal body said the vaccines will be distributed to the civic and government-run vaccine centres for vaccination.

The BMC said in a statement on Friday that private vaccination centres in Mumbai will be closed until Monday “due to inadequate availability of Covid-19 vaccine." Vaccinations will, however, proceed as planned at all government and municipal hospitals. The civic body assured the people that it will get some stocks of the jabs by night, and the administration will attempt to resume vaccination at private hospitals as more shots become available.

The inoculation drive will, henceforth, take place only at government and municipal hospitals on April 10 (12pm- 6pm) and Apr 11 (9am-5pm), it said. The civic body said that the first session will be held on Saturday, April 10, from 12 noon to 6 pm at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Maharashtra Government-run vaccination centers. In centers where two regular sessions are being planned, the second session will continue till 8 pm, it said. These include immunization centers at KEM Hospital, Nair Hospital, Rajawadi Hospital, Mahim Maternity Hospital and BKC Jumbo Covid Center.

On Thursday, the BMC had said that vaccination could not take place at 25 private Mumbai hospitals due to a shortage of doses. The civic body said the jabs couldn’t be administered at 25 of the 71 approved vaccination centres as the doses had run out of stock at these private facilities. There are 49 vaccination centres in government and BMC run hospitals in the metropolis, while 71 have been set up in private hospitals, and some 50,000 people are being inoculated daily, as per BMC data.

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Meanwhile, Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said Maharashtra has received 1.10 crore doses of anti-COVID 19 vaccines so far. Speaking to reporters, Javadekar said apart from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajashtan are the two other states that have received more than 1 crore doses.

He also said over 1,100 ventilators will be made available for Maharashtra, which is worst-affected by COVID-19 pandemic, in the next three days. He said that oxygen supply has also been routed from the industrial production units.

As COVID-19 cases surge alarmingly, the Maharashtra government has imposed a weekend lockdown across the state. However, those eligible for vaccination could travel to vaccination centres during curfew on medical grounds.

The weekend lockdown elicited a positive reponse from people with the streets and markets in most parts of the state, including Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur, wearing a deserted look, officials said on Saturday. However, at some locations in the state, including some market areas in Mumbai, people were seen flouting social distancing and other norms by gathering at one place in large numbers.

The first weekend lockdown in the state began at 8 pm on Friday and it will continue till 7 am on Monday. The announcement about the weekend lockdown had been made on Sunday, when the state government also declared some other restrictions, like night curfew during the week days and prohibitory orders during the day time as part of its ‘Break the Chain’ COVID-19 action plan. The weekend lockdown and other curbs will continue till April 30.

In the country’s financial capital, some areas like south Mumbai were completely deserted due to the lockdown. But people in some other pockets of the city, like the market areas in the central parts and some suburbs in the eastern parts, could be seen stepping out of their houses and also crowding at some points. A large number of people were seen in Dadar vegetable market, with many of them not even wearing face masks, eyewitnesses said.

At many places in the city, people also made a beeline outside liquor shops. Mumbai police have deployed personnel to ensure that people adhere to the rules.

Taking to Twitter, Mumbai Police had said, “Indoor Mode: ON! A Friday-evening reminder about the weekend lockdown from 8pm tonight till 7am Monday. We urge all citizens to not step out, except for essential services or medical emergencies. Stay home, Mumbaikars. Help Mumbai stay safe!"

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first published:April 10, 2021, 17:47 IST