Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, on Tuesday, said that Mumbai can be vaccinated in three weeks if the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) can import COVID-19 vaccines. He further stated that cost is not a factor and the state government's priority is ‘procurement at the earliest’. "We are looking at the possibility of globally procuring vaccines for Mumbai. If we can do this, we have a roadmap to vaccinate the people of Mumbai in three weeks," he noted.
“While we explore the possibilities of globally procuring vaccines and increasing vaccination centres to have one in every municipal ward, the roadmap to administer the second shot to every age group will be published soon,’’ he said. He admitted that, like other states, Maharashtra is scrambling and struggling for vaccines.
On the possibility of a third wave, Thackeray said, “While we add jumbo COVID-19 care centres to increase bed and ICU capacity, we are also taking advice from the task force of paediatricians constituted by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prepare for such cases in children if the need arises.”
Thackeray said he met BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal and Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani to discuss and work out a strategy to ensure the second dose is administered on time, communication and shots for those not tech savvy or on social media, activation of 227 ward vaccination centres and preparation for the possible third wave.
He asserted that the vaccine hesitancy has gone away and people are eager to get both shots and carry on with their life. “I think that is crucial,” he said.He added that the state government has urged all other cities in Maharashtra to have the drive-in vaccination for citizens above the age of 65 for their ease and comfort.
His statement came on a day when Mumbai had reported 1,717 new COVID 19 cases and 51 deaths.