Maharashtra received nearly 27 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccine as the Covid-19 vaccination for all people aged 45 years and above commenced from Thursday. State immunization officer Dr Dilip Patil said that while there will be no specific time slots people will have to register online or do walk-in registration at vaccination centres.
“The only change is that they don’t have to carry any comorbidity certificate. They can simply come with any age and identity proof document,” he told the Times of India. The number of sessions in Maharashtra could be raised from 2,800 to 3,200 in the coming weeks, he added. Mumbai will also receive fresh stocks of 2.25 lakh doses in addition to the already 1.5 lakh stockpile.
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 39,544 of which Mumbai reported 5,399 new COVID-19 cases, which pushed its total to 4,14,773. It also reported 15 deaths, due to which its fatality count grew to 11,690.
Despite BMC commissioner IS Chahal stating that the daily target should be 1 lakh vaccinations, Mumbai’s average turnout saw a drop from 45,000 to 28,000-30,000 last week. Addressing the issue, Additional municipal commissioner, Suresh Kakani said they are in talks of preparing more vaccine centres in hopes of reaching more people. Nurses have also been hired to work in double shifts. He also expressed concerns over people from slum pockets who are not able to get vaccinated as against those from upper and middle strata who have taken the shots.
Maharashtra added 6,51,513 COVID-19 cases in March this year, which accounts for 88.23 per cent of the total number of cases reported in the previous five-month period, according to official data. Between October 1 last year and February 28, 2021, the state recorded 7,38,377 cases of coronavirus.
The data shows the increased pace of the viral infection in March 2021 compared to previous months. One of the main reasons for it is the people not following “COVID-appropriate behaviour", say experts.