Mumbai’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, has been asked to look into the possibility of procuring Covid-19 vaccines from other countries, Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray said on Monday.
In five tweets, Thackeray explained that the decision was made to fill the gap of vaccine shortage and ensure that inoculations were “swift and efficient”. “We are also working on a method to ensure that the non-tech savvy citizens and those who cannot operate the CoWin app [the Union government’s vaccination platform] with ease, and for their access to vaccines in time,” he tweeted.
He added that efforts were being made to increase vaccination centres and that the BMC will set up a centre in every municipal ward, along with a drive-in vaccination centres across all zones in Mumbai. “Today [Monday] the BMC has also issued guidelines for vaccination policy of housing societies partnering with hospitals for vaccination within society complexes,” Thackeray said.
The state minister also urged all cities in Maharashtra to hold drive-in vaccinations for residents above the age of 65.
Thackeray had on Monday said that if Maharashtra was able to procure coronavirus vaccines from other countries then Mumbai’s residents could be vaccinated in three weeks, reported NDTV. He said that the expenses for this initiative were “not a factor”, asserting that the administration was looking at procuring the vaccines quickly.
“Like other states, we are scrambling and struggling for vaccines,” Thackeray told the channel in an interview. “The vaccine hesitancy has gone away and people are eager to get both shots and carry on with post-Covid life. I think that is crucial,”
Several states had deferred the May 1 rollout of the third phase of vaccinations, covering all above 18 years, due to a scarcity of vaccines. Many states, including Delhi, have continued to report shortages.
Daily coronavirus infection count has dropped in Mumbai from over 11,000 on April 14 to 1,794 on Monday. Mumbai daily count is also the lowest single-day count since March 16. The city recorded 74 deaths, pushing the toll to 13,891.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra reported 37,236 new cases and 549 deaths, taking the overall case count to 51,38,973 and the toll to 76,398. The daily case count is also the lowest for Maharashtra since March.