Covid-19 in Mumbai: Dharavi to get vaccination centre as BMC aims to inoculate 1.7 lakh senior citizens

BMC is collaborating with an NGO to begin vaccination awareness that is expected to result in increased inoculation turnout.

In order to vaccinate people living in the biggest slum pocket- Dharavi in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to set up a vaccination centre having a capacity to vaccinate as many as 1,000 people in a day. A report by The Indian Express highlighted a centre along with five booths are being set up at an urban health centre – Chhota Sion Hospital, which will inoculate senior citizens as well as people above 45 years of age having comorbidities. Right now, the closest government-run centre to vaccinate people living in Dharavi is the Bandra-Kurla-Complex jumbo facility.

Citing G North assistant municipal commissioner, Kiran Dighavkar, the vaccination process in the area will begin on Monday with an aim to focus on vaccinating people living in slums. Among 6.5 lakh residents of Dharavi, there are 1.7 lakh senior citizens, as per the BMC data. It was noted that Dharavi residents opting for vaccines are rather less and vaccination turnout is limited to those belonging to middle and higher-income groups. The report noted that poor awareness, vaccine hesitancy along with slum dwellers not having time to wait in the queue has resulted in low numbers of people coming for vaccination.

A civic official said that many slum people cannot spend long hours at vaccination centres because this leads to loss of wages and has become one of the primary reasons for not going for inoculation. Some other people have complaints regarding the app-based registration process which they are not able to use.

The slum witnessed 29 new Coronavirus cases on Friday and the cases were 30 a day before, which, as per the report, is the highest daily spike since September. These cases have been below 30 a day after September last year and were also recorded at zero in December. However, total active cases have reached 72 in the area.

Also, BMC is collaborating with an NGO to begin vaccination awareness that is expected to result in increased inoculation turnout. Pune-headquartered Bharatiya Jain Sangathana (BJS) has tied up for this. Mass campaigns targeting the slum population will be arranged where people will be counselled regarding their vaccination fear.

Meanwhile, the number of cases is on a constant rise in Mumbai pushing BMC further to focus on aggressive vaccination. The BMC is currently operating 24 of the total 91 vaccination centres in Mumbai. The report said that on the back of a surge in COVID-19 caseload, the officials are being directed to make sure that 45 lakh people (inclusive of 1,000 per day at private hospitals) are vaccinated in 45 days.

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