Mumbai: No BMC COVID-19 vaccination centres in three SoBo wards

Three wards in the south Mumbai B, C and D, which comprises areas such as Malabar Hill, Breach Candy, Girgaon, Napean Sea Road, Grant Road, Chira Bazar, Kalbadevi, Mohammed Ali Road and Bhendi Bazar, amongst others, do not have BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) or government-run COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) yet. The majority of the population in these three wards have to visit vaccination centres in neighbouring areas or opt for paid vaccination at private centres.

At present, there are a total of 120 CVCs across Mumbai, out of which 33 are run by BMC and 16 are by the government. However, there is no government or municipal vaccination centre in wards B,C and D. Meanwhile, there are a total of 71 private CVCs, out of which 10 CVCs are situated in these three wards.

The closest BMC CVCs to these three wards are BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central, JJ Hospital near Dongri or Kama Hospital near CST station. "What is the point in travelling so far. We end up paying for the commute and it is time consuming too. Hence, we decided to go to a private vaccination centre," said Kashinath Bhandare, a clerk with a private company and resident of Grant Road.

Bhandare believes that senior citizens, people with disabilities and poor people who cannot afford to pay are suffering due to this. According to civic officials, there was no government hospital in the entire area , especially in D ward. Also, there is no maternity ward run by the municipality, so a CVC could not be started in these wards. "The central government has certain criteria for approving a facility as a CVC. Accordingly, a new centre can be started. We are working on this and soon there will be a few municipal-run CVCs in these areas," said a senior BMC official.

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