Mumbai: BMC plans to arrange special vaccination drive for BEST

In order to inoculate maximum number of front-line workers, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to arrange one single day vaccination drive for the workers of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST).
Amid the pandemic outbreak, the BEST had emerged to be the lifeline of Mumbai in the absence of local trains. Now that the cases in the city have started to rise again, senior officials of the civic body and BEST administration have shared their concern towards the workers. Since the pandemic broke out nearly 2,917 BEST workers have been infected so far, even though the recovery rate of the patients has been above 95 percent, the administration is reluctant to take any risk.
Earlier this week, in a high profile meeting between senior civic and BEST officials, the plan of conducting the special vaccination drive was discussed. The officials stated, the drive could be arranged on weekend and the reserve staffers of hospitals could be deployed for logistical support.
“The idea was proposed to us and we are open to conduct a special vaccination drive for the BEST workers,” Suresh Kakani, BMC additional municipal commissioner told FPJ.
“The drive will be kept on weekends and out of 23 vaccination centres in Mumbai we can dedicate five hospitals for the special drive, 50 percent of the logistical facilities along with the reserve staffers, could be used for logistical support,” Kakani added.
The proposal of arranging the special drive was floated by BEST Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Anil Kumar Singhal in the meeting.
“Front line workers are getting the doses everyday between Monday to Saturday, arranging a special drive will encourage the workers and at the same time we can reach out to more people,” Singhal told FPJ. Furthermore, he added, nearly 300 BEST workers have received the dose in the second phase, so far.
However, Sunil Ganacharya - senior BEST committee member stated the BEST management should compensate the workers who receive the dose, with one day of leave of absence.
“Workers often fall sick after receiving the dose, it will benefit the workers if the management can think of compensating them with a leave of absense or pass a circular instructing workers to get the dose only on their last working day before weekly off,” Ganacharya told FPJ.

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