After BJP’s promise in the Bihar poll manifesto to provide Covid vaccine free for the people of Bihar, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government minister Nawab Malik on Saturday announced that the MVA government too will make availability of COVID vaccine free for all. “BJP’s announcement during a nationwide outbreak is injustice to other citizens. In Maharashtra, our government will provide the vaccine for free,” he said.
Malik said the coronavirus-induced lockdown which led to loss of lives and jobs could have been avoided if the Centre had immediately sealed the borders after the WHO alerted about the virus on December 31, 2019. Maharashtra accounts for over 25% of India’s active Covid 19 patients
Malik’s announcement comes on a day when the Maharashtra Government has launched preparations for a database of health workers for COVID-19 vaccination. Public Health Department Principal Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas in his letter has asked the divisional commissioners, district collectors and municipal commissioners that government and private facilities should complete the database by October 25. “Chief Secretary would review preparations and progress in the matter on October 26 at 12.30 pm over a video conference,’’ he noted. As per the Government of India guidelines, the whole task needs to be completed by October 31.
Dr Vyas has asked the divisional commissioners, district collectors and municipal commissioners to take help of Indian Medical Association, Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India and also development partners UNICEF and UNDP to complete the database.
The database will be uploaded subsequently on COVID-19 vaccine beneficiary system for individualised tracking. Health care workers include health care service providers and other workers in health care settings both government and private.
Dr Vyas explained the government facilities include health facilities owned by the state comprising hospitals, medical colleges, super speciality hospitals, community and primary health centres, health and wellness centres, clinics, dispensaries and tribal health facilities. Further, these facilities also consist of AYUSH hospitals and dispensaries, health facilities under civic bodies, zilla parishad, panchayat.
On the other hand, the private facilities, which are registered with the district, include corporate hospitals, private medical colleges, nursing homes, clinics, day out patient departments, polyclinics and NGO facilities.