The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Saturday said that residents of Mumbai, who are eligible for Covid-19 vaccination and have registered themselves on the CoWin portal, can get the inoculation ahead of the scheduled date.

Mumbai, which is among the worst-hit cities in India, had reported 2,982 new infections on Saturday. This was slightly lower than the 3,062 Covid-19 infections logged on Friday, the highest so far.

In a statement on Saturday, the civic body said that it was necessary to speed up the coronavirus vaccination process. “In this regard, the government has made arrangements to vaccinate senior citizens above 60 years of age and those with co-morbidities in the age group of 45-59 years,” it said. “Citizens in the above-mentioned age groups are thereby appealed to register successfully on the Co-WIN portal and visit their nearest vaccination centre to get vaccinated without waiting for the date of the scheduled appointment.”

The civic body also said that the vaccine shots were available for free at the government and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai hospitals and would cost Rs 250 at 59 private medical institutions.

India is administering two vaccines – Covishield produced by Serum Institute and Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech. Both are two-shot vaccines. The Centre has advised that the period between the two doses should be 28 days, while pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which has developed Covishield, has said it is best to take the second jab after eight to 12 weeks.

Alarmed by the surge in cases, the city’s civic body had announced that it will randomly conduct Rapid Antigen tests on people at crowded places without their consent. This includes malls, railway stations, bus depots, marketplaces, tourist places and government offices, an order by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.

The train stations where mandatory and random tests will be done are Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai Central, Dadar Western and Central, Bandra Terminal, Andheri, Borivali and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kurla. The bus depots, which fall under the order, are Mumbai Central, Parel, Borivali and Kurla.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases in the country. While infections dropped for some time in September and October, they have surged again over the last few weeks.

Amid signs that the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is building, several districts in Maharashtra have announced new restrictions on people’s movement and imposed night curfews in some cities. Brief shutdowns have also been imposed in some areas.

On Friday, the Maharashtra government announced a new set of curbs to combat the surge in coronavirus cases. All offices, cinema halls and auditoriums in the state have been directed to operate with 50% attendance till March 31. Shopping malls will only allow entry to visitors wearing masks.

The restrictions may get stricter as the state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that imposition of a lockdown was an option to counter the fresh wave of cases. He, however, expressed confidence that people of the state will follow the existing restriction norms voluntarily. He also appealed to the people to get inoculated without any fear.