Hundreds of Mumbai residents were seen forming queues outside vaccination centres today, sparking fears of these crowds turning COVID-19 catalysts even as the pandemic brought in another record-breaking day for the country. A key Maharashtra government meeting is scheduled for later today on the direction the inoculation drive is taking in the state.
News agency ANI today reported long queues formed by people outside the NESCO vaccination centre, which had yesterday run out of stocks.
Although most of them were seen wearing masks, close proximity of a large number of people is risky behaviour as far as the Covid protocol is concerned. Especially, since the ANI photos showed people of all ages, including the aged, in the queues.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is set to hold a key meeting on the vaccination programme around 3 pm today. This meeting will look into the preparation for phase III of the national Covid vaccination drive, which will begin on May 1 and open up the injections for all adults.
Following this, he will meet the commissioners of all districts through video conferencing to assess the situation in the state.
Earlier in the day, the state government decided to go with the Centre’s decision to open up vaccination for all adults — unlike many other states that will stick to the current cap of those aged above 45 years till stocks are replenished.
Maharashtra today recorded 63,309 new cases and 1,035 deaths even as the nation hit a new high of over 3.79 fresh ones and 3,645 fatalities. The state has remained the worst among all till now, recording 44,73,394 infections till now and 67,214 deaths.
Besides, the direct effect of the pandemic, the state is also battling an acute shortage of medical resources, including oxygen, hospital beds, vaccines, and other drugs. It has also witnessed a string of accidents related to Covid patients, resulting in more casualties.