Mumbai: Little over a thousand people were inoculated in Mumbai on Saturday, even as people in the 18-44 age group became eligible to enroll themselves for the mass Covid-19 vaccination drive across the country. Official data showed 1004 people in Mumbai got the jab, while the vaccination tally for Maharashtra’s 18-45 age group stood at 11,492. Till April 30, only those above 45 were eligible to get Covid-19 vaccines. On Saturday, Pune topped among 26 districts with 1,316 receiving the jab in the above-18 group, followed by 1,004 in Mumbai. Gadchiroli (83) and Yavatmal (90) were at the bottom of the chart, data showed.
Inoculation drive for the new category was carried out in 26 districts of Maharashtra and it will begin in all 36 districts from Sunday, said an official release. People should not visit vaccination centers without registering themselves through the Co-WIN app or portal first, the government has said.
On Friday, Maharashtra Chief Minister said the state will go ahead with the Covid-19 inoculation drive for those in the 18-44 age category and reiterated his request to the Centre for additional doses for the virus-embattled state. The BMC later said it would open five centers as a token on May 1. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope spoke while speaking to reporters had said, “Maharashtra CM genuinely feels that the state can start the vaccination drive from May 1. May 1 is also the state foundation day, hence he is inclined to start this drive from that day,” he said, adding, “But we need to maintain consistency in the drive.”
The BMC has listed Nair Hospital, the BKC jumbo Covid Centre, Cooper Hospital, SevenHills Hospital, and the Rajawadi hospital to administer the doses. Only those with prior appointments will be able to visit these centers, sources said.
Thackeray also said the state is now prepared to deal with a third wave of the coronavirus with enough oxygen in stock. He said Maharashtra would have seen nine to 10 lakh active coronavirus cases if the state government had not imposed new lockdown-like restrictions, Thackeray said. A complete lockdown may be necessary but “I don’t think we will reach that stage,” he said. His statement came in response to the Bombay High Court asking the government on Thursday if a stricter lockdown should be imposed. He also said the inoculation against COVID-19 for those above 18 years of age will start from Saturday ‘as per the availability of vaccine doses.
Maharashtra is among the worst-hit states in India as the second wave of coronavirus continues to ravage the country. While the lockdown has shown some effects in Maharashtra and numbers have begun to slide down, particularly in Mumbai which recorded 3,879 cases on Monday.