BBMP to prioritise vaccination of slum residents, delivery agents, cab drivers

The Karnataka government had said it will vaccinate vulnerable groups on a priority basis as a part of its strategy.
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Bengaluru’s civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike is planning to vaccinate those residing in slums, delivery agents, auto rickshaw and cab drivers on priority. According to reports, the civic body will be setting up vaccination sites in slums, metro stations and other sites. BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta confirmed the same and said that they have already begun their work in the city. A TOI report had quoted Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwathnarayan saying that the government decided to reach out to the people dwelling in slums, metro construction sites and similar locations where people live in close proximity to one another.

The minister, who also heads COVID-19 task force in the state, had said that their priority will be vaccinating those above 45 years, but will also focus on those living in the specified areas regardless of their age. The report also quoted him saying that the government will send an SMS message to the cab and rickshaw drivers regarding the vaccination site since they are on the move.

On Saturday, the government issued a notice on their vaccination policy, mentioning that dates for the COVID-19 vaccination of those in 18-44 are currently unavailable. It also stated that frontline workers and priority groups will be inoculated. The government mentioned that the concerned nodal officers will inform those who are set to receive the vaccine shot.

“For identified state COVID front line workers/vulnerable groups and priority groups, the concerned will be informed of the date and time of vaccination by the designated nodal officers," according to the state Health Department’s note. The clarification came after the Health Department announced that vaccination for the 18-44 group will begin on May 22, following which it was suspended due to lack of vaccine availability.

Another report quoted volunteers calling on the government to vaccinate slum dwellers and certain vulnerable working populations to safeguard them during the pandemic. The volunteer said the government needs to also focus on prioritising testing, tracing and quarantining and set up COVID-19 Care Centres near slums.

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