Dry run: Mumbai civic body awaiting directives from Maha govt

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Mumbai, Jan 5 (PTI) The Mumbai civic body is awaiting communication from the Maharashtra government on conducting a COVID-19 vaccination dry run in the city, a senior civic official said on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, state health minister Rajesh Tope had said a dry run will be conducted across Maharashtra on January 8 to check the preparedness of the mechanism rolled out for the imminent vaccination exercise.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Additional Commissioner Suresh Kakani told reporters that the civic body was prepared to conduct the dummy vaccination exercise at all the identified centres if they receive directives from the state government.

'The BMC has not yet received any communication from the state government for conducting a dry run of the COVID-19 vaccination. If the government asks us, we will conduct the dry run at all (identified) hospitals, instead of holding it at only one hospital,' he said, when asked about reports that the BMC will conduct the mock drill only at civic-run RN Cooper Hospital.

The Mumbai civic body has already announced to set up eight vaccination centres at RN Cooper, KEM, Sion, Nair, Rajawadi, V N Desai, Shatabdi (Kandivali) and Bhabha (Bandra) hospitals.

According to BMC officials, the civic body has registered data of over 1.25 lakh healthcare workers on the CO-Win software so far for the vaccination programme.

Explaining the process of actual vaccination, officials said the registered healthcare workers will receive system-generated messages mentioning details about the date, place and timing of the inoculation.

Meanwhile, Kakani said the civic body has shared the transportation plan and storage details for COVID-19 vaccines with the police department.

'A policeman or a personnel of the BMC's security department will accompany the transportation of vaccine, when it arrives,' Kakani said.

He said tokens will be given at vaccination centres to control the crowd once the actual vaccination drive will be rolled out.

Responding to a query on continuation of a night curfew in Mumbai limits, Kakani said the BMC had given its inputs.

'Either the state government or Mumbai police commissioner is likely to announce the decision about the night curfew either tonight or tomorrow (Wednesday) morning,' he said.

The state government clamped a curfew in municipal corporation areas (cities) from 11 PM to 6 AM from December 22 to January 5 as a precautionary measure amid growing concerns over the new coronavirus variant spreading in Britain.

Kakani informed that actor brothers Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan and the latter's son Nirvaan Khan have been kept under institutional quarantine and the police department will take necessary action against them.

The trio was booked on Monday after the BMC lodged an FIR against them for allegedly violating the quarantine norms in place for passengers returning to Mumbai from the UK, the Middle East and European countries.

'No such incident (violation of norms) had occurred in the past. This was the first case and hence we have taken a stern action against the Khan trio' Kakani said.

He said the Khans have already tested negative for coronavirus.

'However, the BMC will trace the high-risk and close contacts of the Khans in the event of the trio testing positive in follow-up tests,' he added.

Kakani said 26 returnees from foreign countries have so far been tested positive for the coronavirus infection.

'Of them, 14 passengers later tested negative while the condition of the rest 12 is stable,' he said.

Kakani said four of the five passengers in Mumbai who were later found to be carrying the new coronavirus strain had arrived in the city before December 21, while another patient arrived a day later.

'All these five patients have been kept in a separate ward in a hospital. Two of them have already tested negative for coronavirus, while the fresh test reports of the three others are expected tonight or tomorrow. Further action will be taken as per the protocol decided by the task force,' he added. PTI KK NSK NSK