Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar on Tuesday said that the state is considering sending a proposal to the union ministry to seek permission for vaccinating beneficiaries of 30 years of age and above.
“The union ministry has allowed vaccine for anyone above 45 years of age. For the next phase we are considering to seek permission for vaccinating those above 30 years of age,” said Pednekar in an exclusive interactive session with The Free Press Journal at its office.
“The state may write to the centre seeking permission on the matter after that we will act accordingly,” she added.
Amid the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, the occupancy in hospital beds has increased by 50 percent in the past two weeks and at present only 30-35 percent of the total beds are vacant in the city. However, mayor Pednekar said that in the middle of the ongoing week, more beds will be activated in the jumbo centres.
"We are activating the beds in a phased manner and as per demand as there is no point in keeping the beds idle as it costs a lot of money to the municipal body," Pednekar said.
Speaking on the possibility of imposing another lockdown in the city, Pednekar said that tough calls are needed to be taken by the state and city administration, considering the rise in the number of active cases across Mumbai.
“Nobody favours the decision of imposing another lockdown but for everyone's safety we need to take tough decisions if the need arises, the fatality rate has increased to three per cent now and we are recording more than five thousand cases daily,” Pednekar said.
She added that now citizens have become casual in their approach towards the disease. She said that more than 95 percent of the fresh cases are reported from high rises and most of the fresh cases, either have a travel history or have a record of gathering social events.
"Imposing a complete lockdown doesn't ensure that cases will stop rising, but as a precautionary measure we need to impose stricter measures so that people stop moving out needlessly," the mayor said.
Pednekar also mentioned that now the BMC will concentrate on conducting aggressive door-to-door testing at residential buildings and gated societies like how they did in the slums when the pandemic was at its peak last year.