Mumbai's civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), is planning to set up more drive-in vaccination centres across the city after its first in Dadar has drawn praise from a lot of quarters. The BMC is now planning to set up seven more such centres in the city to help inoculate people who are eligible to get Covid-19 vaccines.
These drive-in vaccination centres are primarily meant for specially abled people or senior citizens who can get these jabs while they sit in their own vehicles.
The first drive-in vaccination facility in Mumbai started earlier this week in the city's multi-storey Kohinoor public parking lot on JK Sawant Marg, near Shivaji Park in Dadar West. Mumbai municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has directed officials to set up seven more before this weekend.
Though the centre in Dadar has been vaccinating people above 45 years of age, it was later revised by the municipal commissioner. Now, people above 60 years of age can get their jabs at these drive-in centres. The civic body has also instructed that those planning to get vaccinated at any drive-in centres should not drive themselves, and should be accompanied by an attendant or driver. It has also instructed that all those who wish to use this facility will require to book a prior appointment on the Co-WIN portal.
Aaditya Thackeray, who is also guardian minister of Mumbai suburban district, held a meeting with the city's municipal commissioner and decided to increase the number of drive-in centres. He later tweeted, "With regard to the crowding at some of the Vaccination centres and the opening up of more 'drive in' vaccination centres across the city, @mybmc Commissioner Chahal ji and I had a discussion this morning and new guidelines would be released soon."
BMC is planning to use big open grounds like Andheri Sports Club ground, Cooperage, Shivaji Stadium, Oval Maidan and MIG Ground to set up the new drive-in vaccination centres to accommodate more people and speed up the process. According to the civic body, 25,20,634 people have so far received coronavirus vaccine jabs, including 5,40,000 who have received both doses till Wednesday evening.
These drive-in vaccination centres are also aimed to reduce the rush at places like the BKC inoculation centre. An order issued by the BMC said, "Since May 1, after launch of above 18 years vaccination program, all the CVCs are getting overcrowded and it becomes difficult to maintain social distancing and Covid appropriate behaviour."