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Omicron scare: Maharashtra focuses on maximising jabs

09:08 AM Dec 07, 2021 | Swapnil Mishra

In view of the latest SARS COV-2 variant Omicron, the public health department of Maharashtra has urged citizens to come forward and take their second dose of the Covid vaccine. According to the statistics, until December 4, 98.12 lakh beneficiaries across the state are overdue for the second dose of the vaccine. Of these, 85.46 lakh are overdue for Covishied, while 12.66 lakh are due for their Covaxin dose.

Of all districts, Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Gondia, Bhandara, Kolhapur, Nagpur and Nashik have the most number of beneficiaries due for the second dose. Officials said they have directed all district health officers to use different mechanisms to reach out to them, including call centres and through awareness creation.

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“Individual line listings are available for each district through the Cowin portal. We can even obtain cell phone numbers of the concerned persons, who may be contacted through call centres and other mechanisms to come forward and take their 2nd dose of the Covid vaccine which is due. The concept of call centres has been found to be fruitful in a couple of the districts,” said Additional Chief Secretary, Dr Pradeep Vyas.

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As per the data, 12.18 lakh beneficiaries in Pune are overdue for the second dose of Covishield, followed by 6.62 lakh in Mumbai, 5.22 lakh in Kolhapur, 5.10 lakh in Thane and 4.67 lakh in Nagpur. Similarly, for Covaxin, over 1.09 lakh beneficiaries in Gondia have not taken their second dose, followed by 86,128 in Bhandara, 85,471 in Pune, 66,113 in Mumbai and 62,660 in Gadchiroli.

Joint Director, Directorate of Health and Services (DHS), Dr Archana Patil, said, healthcare officials have been encouraging those who have missed the second dose of the vaccine to get fully jabbed. Calls are being made to them and special camps are being organised in the vicinity of their areas to increase vaccination coverage, resulting in an increase in the number of vaccinations in the past couple of days.

Railways readying its oxygen plants

The Western and Central Railway have directed officials concerned to finish work on oxygen plants using pressure swing absorption (PSA) technology to tackle any infection load that might come with the Omicron variant. A senior railway official said monitoring of PSA plants, maintaining an adequate stock of oxygen cylinders, and ensuring the availability of PPE kits and testing materials is underway. The official said an oxygen plant was commissioned in Kalyan on December 1. Meanwhile, chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said 92 per cent of railway staff and employees are fully vaccinated. “We are also focusing on encouraging families and contractual staff to vaccinate,” said Sutar.

Also Read: Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole raises question over civilian killings in Nagaland

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