A nurse fills a Covishield dose in an injection before administering it to a frontline worker at Rajawadi hospital, Mumbai, January 16, 2021. Photo: PTI/Shashank Parade.
New Delhi: The Centre has declined a request from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to conduct door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination, Mumbai Mirror reported on March 28.
The basis for the decision seems unclear, although the newspaper quoted an unnamed health ministry official saying a door-to-door campaign could increase the time taken to vaccinate a population since healthcare workers might be held up at each residence to monitor vaccine recipients. Mirror also reported that in its reply, the Centre cited the lack of a policy on its part.
Mumbai is currently India’s worst affected city. Since March 1, 2021, it has reported over 77,000 new cases and 186 deaths. In the same period, India as a whole reported 9.7 lakh new cases and 174 deaths. (Data from covid19india.org.)
Experts are yet to make full sense of the exact causes of this surge. Potential contributing factors include new variants of the virus, premature easing of public restrictions and non-adherence to COVID-safe protocols.
But even as the Centre turned down Mumbai’s request, it expressed concern about Mumbai’s increasing case load. Mirror also reported that Ameet Satam, the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Andheri West, has written to the municipal commissioner about subpar response to the vaccine drive among people living in slums.
“There are nearly 1.5 lakh people in Mumbai who are old and bedridden or handicapped and can’t move out of their house for vaccination. We had written to the Centre to allow us permission to visit them to vaccinate them, but the central officials told us that there is no such policy,” Mirror quoted additional municipal commissioner (health) of BMC Suresh Kakani as saying.