In order to ramp up the ongoing phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive in Mumbai, as many as 13 private hospitals started inoculating beneficiaries from Thursday.
Earlier this week the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had given permission to 29 private hospitals of the city for taking part in the drive. Hospitals like- Nanavati, Bombay, Saifee, Lilavati, Global, Hinduja, and Nanavati were amongst the ones who started the drive from Thursday.
The BMC also said that nine more vaccination centres will become operational from Friday. These include the civic run - HBT Trauma Care hospital, Breach Candy Hospital, HN Reliance Hospital and Masina Hospital.
Alongside these, five private centres - Lion Tarachand (Sion), Sapna Healthcare (Ghatkopar), Milat Diagnostics (Jogeshwari), Balaji Hospital (Malad), Meena's (Bhandup) and Dr. Bhatia's (Bhandup) will also start inoculation from Friday. These centres are affiliated under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
The drive was started at 9 am on Thursday and went on till late evening. Likewise, to the government facilities, these hospitals kept the option of on-spot registration as well.
Most of the beneficiaries who stepped in to get jabbed on Thursday said the entire process went smoothly and the waiting time was less.
"It took us only one hour for me and my wife to complete the entire process," Gautam Mansukhani (68) a retired banker who received the dose at Bombay Hospital told FPJ.
"The process was smooth and distancing norms were strictly followed, the hospital had set up multiple booths and each of them were operational," said Ratna Desai who received the dose from the same hospital.
Beneficiaries also said, in order to ramp up the drive the civic body should consider roping in more private hospitals for vaccinating purpose.
"The fact they are charging money means they are bound to provide better service," said Shyam Mistry, another beneficiary.
Dr. Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician of Bombay Hospital and in-charge of private hospitals said a total of 231 beneficiaries received the dose on Thursday.
"We have set up five booths to ensure there is no crowding, the operation went on smoothly on Thursday without any problem," Bhansali told FPJ.
Dr. V. Ravishankar - Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lilavati hospital said on Thursday a total of 210 beneficiaries received the dose.
"On the first day we only inoculated pre-registered beneficiaries, however from Friday we will start on spot registration as well," Ravishankar told FPJ.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of public health in BMC however said, there has been no discussion of roping in more private hospitals as of now.
He also said that each private hospital has been given a daily target of inoculating approximately 100 patients in each booth, which means if five booths are set up in a hospital then the total target will be 500 patients per day.
"We will be studying the targets for few weeks and then will decide whether to rope in more private hospitals, however, the response on Thursday was good as in many hospitals the drive continued till late evening," Kakani told FPJ. He also mentioned the remaining private hospitals will start inoculating within the next two days.
Earlier on Wednesday, the union ministry had said that vaccination would be conducted 24x7 to help people get vaccines at their convenience. However, Kakani said that this won't be implemented in Mumbai.
"We are already carrying out the drive-in two shifts so it's likely for us to not implement this rule in Mumbai," Kakani added.
Also on Thursday, a few hospital associates also said that the Co-Win portal was functioning at a slow pace.
"The portal is slow because many users are using it at the same time and also they are doing online and offline registration simultaneously," said Kakani.