COVID-19 in Maharashtra: State gears up for vaccination campaign

The Maharashtra government is all geared up to conduct the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the state from January 16. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Monday, after video conferencing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has asked concerned agencies to coordinate for the smooth vaccination campaign as per the central government’s instructions. The state government has hinted that the vaccine will be administered in two dosages.

Thackeray, who chaired a meeting with the officers from the Health Department and members of COVID-19 task force, reviewed the details with regard to the vaccine availability, transportation, storage and administration.

In the first phase, health workers will be administered the dose, followed by frontline workers, comprising police, Conservancy Department workers and the Central Reserve Force personnel. He directed the authorities to pay close attention to the process of the distribution and transportation of the vaccine across the state and to ensure that the vaccine is kept at the right temperature.

Thackeray said that the COVID-19 norms will have to be observed even after vaccination. He further noted that face masks, use of sanitizers and maintaining social distance will have to be followed later to avoid the spread of the virus.

Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the vaccination campaign will be conducted on the lines of polling. It will be done in booths and the staff on duty will be given entry into these booths after checking their identity cards. Further, after the vaccine is administered, people will receive a message on his or her mobile with a QR code.

Tope said that there is enough availability of cold storages in the state. “At the state level, there is one. There are nine at the divisional level, 34 at district level and 27 in the municipal corporation limits. In all, 3,315 cold chains are ready. Further, there are 21 walk-in coolers, 4 walk-in freezes, 4,153 ice -lined refrigerators (ILRs) and 3,937 deep freezers. About six walk-in coolers, two walk-in freezers, 677 ILRs and 170 deep freezes are expected from the central government. “Walk-in coolers and freezers will be deployed in Kolhapur, Thane, Aurangabad, Latur, Akola, Nagpur, Pune and Nashik,” he added.

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