DDMA Covid review meet: Officials suggested making vaccination mandatory for entry into malls, Metro

  • | Tuesday | 26th October, 2021

New Delhi, Oct 26 (PTI) A DDMA meeting was held here recently to review Delhi"s COVID-19 situation, in which the city health secretary suggested, among other measures, making vaccination mandatory for entry into malls and metro trains, minutes of the meeting showed.Informing the meeting that as on September 27, 171.71 lakh Covid vaccine doses had been administered in the national capital, the official suggested a change in the vaccination strategy to cover the remaining target groups.Although the meeting was held on September 29, its minutes were published on October 25.The meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) was informed that by then, the first vaccine dose had been administered to 1.17 crore beneficiaries (78 per cent of the eligible population) and the second to 54 lakh beneficiaries (36 per cent of the eligible population).The vaccination capacity of government centres was increased to 3.2 lakh doses per day which was nearly a 40 per cent rise in the month of September, the meeting was told."It is also the right time to de-incentivize/incentivize remaining beneficiaries for vaccination by making vaccination mandatory for entry into malls, Delhi Metro, restaurants and offices," the minutes read."Hence, it has been decided to have a focused approach to reach the balance eligible beneficiaries. For this purpose identification, mobilisation, setting up of camps, mobile teams with strong IEC campaign is being planned," it added.NITI Aayog Member Dr V K Paul suggested that introduction of vaccine passports may be taken up in graded manner.He said auto and taxi drivers and all other groups, who are in frequent contact with general public, should be 100 per cent vaccinated. Dr Paul also stressed that a visible campaign on compulsory wearing of masks should be considered, as per the minutes.AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria observed that though vaccination capacity of three lakh doses per day was very good, it could be increased further.He suggested mobile vaccination camps for those who are unable to come to inoculation centres, and said healthcare and frontline workers, and teachers and other staff working in schools must be vaccinated 100 per cent.Professor Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR, echoed Guleria"s views on 100 per cent vaccination of teachers and staff members of schools.He, however, observed that 78 per cent coverage for first dose is less than what is achievable.Bhargava suggested upcoming holidays should be used for a mega vaccination drive.Dr Sujit Kumar Singh, Director of NCDC, said mandatory vaccination could be implemented for Delhi Metro and malls in the city.Joint secretary of the NDMA, who was also part of the meeting, observed that vaccination be incentivised, the minutes said.To this, the Delhi chief secretary stated that vaccination drives would be launched on a mission mode and the coming holidays would be used for the purpose."The incentivisation and disincentivisation of vaccination shall be worked out. Hundred per cent vaccination for government staff, frontline workers, healthcare workers and those in the education ecosystem may be ensured through issue of an appropriate order," the minutes quoted him as saying. PTI SLB IJT

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