MUMBAI: More than 1,000 beneficiaries thronged the BKC jumbo vaccine centre on Wednesday, leading to chaos; a section of the uncontrollable crowd broke the barricade and tried to barge into the centre, which could have led to a stampede-like situation.
Civic officials said the crowd was unexpected as they had clarified a day earlier that a walk-in is allowed for only second dose beneficiaries; but they learnt even first dose beneficiaries had decided to try their luck.
“The situation was controlled within and hour as most of the beneficiaries tried to enter the centre before the gate opened. Moreover, we had already informed vaccination will start late on Wednesday at all vaccine centres,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner.
Dr Rajesh Dere, incharge of the BKC vaccine centre, said they had informed citizens that the inoculation drive will start post 12pm, but most of them still decided to converge at the venue early morning thinking they will be served first.
“There was no mismanagement at BKC. Also, once doses arrived, everything fell in place and the drive was carried out smoothly, ” he said.
Meanwhile, social media users have requested the civic body to provide details of the vaccination process as most of the senior citizens do not use twitter. Following which most of them just visit the centre and then they have to face problems.
“pls remember not everyone uses tweeter and thousands of seniors in the city are living alone. What do they do? Where do I go? No proper guidance from anyone. BMC tweets about availability anytime in the day on twitter. This is not done,” @sunflower247
“But how does crowding helps this? It creates more chaos. How can officials out there control such a crowd? BMC must find an effective way to communicate with these people. Like they have started a drive-in vaccination facility for elderly and disabled,” @saranggujarathif
Senior health officials said citizens need to make an appointment through government portals for inoculation, but in some centres the vaccination was carried out on a walk-in basis and for those who had registered. “However, with the rising number of corona cases, more people have started rushing for vaccination," he said.