The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said it does not apprehend a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city as the vaccine drive is going smoothly with over 42 lakh persons having got both the doses of the vaccine and over 82 lakhs received the first dose.
Anil Sakhare, counsel for the BMC informed the HC on Monday that the vaccination drive is going on well and it does not apprehend the third wave. “The work (of vaccinating people) is on. It is going smoothly. Now there is no shortage of vaccines too. Mumbai is safe. We do not see a third wave (of the COVID-19) coming,” said Sakhare.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS was Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocates – Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari – earlier this year seeking a direction to both the Union and Maharashtra government to start door-to-door vaccination for senior citizens above the age of 75 years, specially-abled persons and those who are bed-ridden.
Sakhare further said that so far 2,586 bed-ridden persons have been administered both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine while 3,942 bed-ridden persons have got the first jab.
Besides, the BMC has a robust health system as it allocates nearly 12 per cent of its budget to health. Sakhare said: “Our system is good. The corporation allocates 12 percent of its budget for health facilities, which is nearly Rs 4,600 crore,” said Sakhare.
The judges expressed satisfaction at the pace at which vaccinations are taking place, even for the bed-ridden. “We are happy now that even these persons are not deprived of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said the judges.
On Sakhare’s suggestion that the PIL be disposed of, Kapadia said that the purpose of filing the PIL was served as now even the Centre has framed a policy to vaccinate such persons at their residences.
The plea had sought door-to-door vaccination as these persons would not be in a position to step out of their houses to go to the vaccination centres and get the vaccine.
Earlier, the Union government had said it would not be able to start a door-to-door vaccination programme but had said it would initiate a near-to-home programme.
However, in August, the Maharashtra government said it would initiate the drive and had started door-to-door vaccination of bed-ridden persons as a pilot project. The PIL has been disposed of.