Mumbai: BEST checkmates staff avoiding jabs

The BEST has come up with a unique way of linking the mobile numbers with bank accounts to ensure that their employees take the vaccination. This is because they have found that staffs have provided false phone numbers to avoid taking jabs as they fall under the essential category.

Since February 16, around 7,000 staffs have been vaccinated, while currently there are only nine employees who are fighting Covid-19. Sources in BEST said that their 34,000 strong force have been informed about getting vaccinated and their database has been uploaded on the CoWIN portal.

Accordingly, the CoWIN portal has sent SMS messages to the registered beneficiaries on their mobile numbers registered with the Undertaking mentioning the Registration Reference ID. "However we realised that there were staffs who were providing wrong phone numbers and stated to have not received SMS for visiting vaccination centers," said a BEST official.

Gradually, the BEST Undertaking did two things; one being a staff will get vaccination only on the basis of his/her ID card with any government ID proof. And second, the salary account of employees which has a registered phone number has been demanded by the administration. This is to ensure that an employee is under fear of not receiving salaries if wrong number is provided.

In fact to iron out issues of wrong phone number provided, mistake in names and other issues; a WhatsApp group has been created by BMC and BEST officials. This is namely to address the problem ward wise, on immediate basis.

"We are also planning to conduct a drive at our residential quarters so that mass vaccination drives can be carried out," said another BEST official. This will be done on weekends across Mumbai though dates haven't been finalized.

Meanwhile, the BEST employees can visit any of the 21 BMC and state government hospitals and vaccination centres from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm for vaccination. The Undertaking is also carrying out talks and discourses to it's staff to address any anxiety about getting vaccinated.

Tests are also conducted to check the deficiency level of Vitamin D. In the last one year, the medical team has also distributed 1.5 lakh strips of Vitamin D tablets to the employees.

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