(Eds: Adding information) Mumbai, Jan 8 (PTI) A dry run to assess the readiness of the mechanism laid out for the imminent COVID-19 immunisation drive, was conducted across 32 of the total 36 districts in Maharashtra on Friday, a health department official said.
A similar exercise had been conducted in four other districts of the state- Nagpur, Jalna, Pune and Nandurbar- on January 2.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the mock drill on Friday was held at 114 centres across the state as part of the nationwide exercise.
'Except for the four districts where the dry run was conducted earlier, rest others took part in the drill today,' he said.
Twenty-five persons were given dummy vaccine at each centre, he said, adding that the facilities where the exercise was held included municipal hospitals and district as well as sub-district hospitals. Each volunteer's finger was inked for participating in the process.
'There are still some areas in the overall system where we need to improve efficiency in terms of data updation, delivery of SMS and training the local staff for inoculation,' he said.
'Today's exercise will give an idea about how serious the problems are. We will have the data of all the areas where we are facing issues, so that we can fix them before the actual vaccination process begins,' the minister added.
The state needs to reduce the loopholes in the system to avoid inconvenience to people, Tope said.
The Union Health Ministry had earlier said that the dry run for COVID-19 vaccination was aimed at testing the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges.
It had said that the objective of the dry run was to assess the operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation.
The dry run would also equip the administration of the states and union territories in management of vaccine supply, storage and logistics including cold chain management, it had said. PTI ND NP NP