In the wake of Cyclone Tauktae, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday evening said the COVID-19 vaccination drive has been cancelled for the next two days i.e, Monday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 18.
"Vaccination against COVID-19 will remain suspended across Gujarat on May 17 and May 18 in view of Cyclone Tauktae," Rupani said.
The Chief Minister also urged the citizens to not to leave their homes on May 17 and 18 as "there is a possibility of heavy rains along with hurricanes in the entire state of Gujarat".
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Tauktae has intensified into a 'very severe cyclonic storm' and is very likely to reach the Gujarat coast in the evening hours of Monday and cross it between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district around the early morning of Tuesday.
"Through effective and constant liaison with fisheries department and timely weather alerts to fishermen by the ICG ships and aircraft, all 4,526 fishing boats of Maharashtra and 2,258 boats of Gujarat which were out at sea, have safely returned to harbour," the Coast Guard tweeted.
The IMD said stormy winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely over the northeast Arabian Sea, and along and off south Gujarat and Daman and Diu coasts from Sunday morning.
It has also issued a yellow alert for the coasts of Gujarat and Diu and Daman.
According to the cyclone warning division of the IMD, the wind speed is expected to increase to 150-160 kilometres per hour by May 18, gusting up to 175 kmph.
Wind speed reaching 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph is likely along and off south Maharashtra-Goa and adjoining Karnataka coasts, and 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph along and off the north Maharashtra coast on May 16.
It is likely to increase to 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph along and off the north Maharashtra coast from May 17 till the morning of May 18, the IMD said.
Meanwhile, in wake of Cyclone Tauktae, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also cancelled the COVID-19 vaccination program for May 17 in Mumbai.