Shoppers who visit these malls and fruit and vegetable markets during the vaccine drive can also get vaccinated for free.

Escalators in Phoenix mall ChennaiImage for representation only
news COVID-19 Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 19:31

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has devised a plan to vaccinate around 60,000 people who work at 10 malls and 38 street markets in the city. Over and above this, regular shoppers too can get a free dose of vaccine if they happen to visit the malls/markets when the vaccination drive is taking place. 

Speaking to TNM, Vishu Mahajan IAS, Deputy Commissioner Revenue and Finance, who is vaccines in charge at GCC said that “the plan to vaccinate shopkeepers and staff of malls and markets had been carried out in bits and pieces”. However, a consolidated effort with a proper strategy was drawn out last week. As per the new plan, the corporation has identified 10 malls, including Phoenix Market City in Velachery, Chennai Citi Centre in Mylapore, Express Avenue, and seven other popular ones within city limits. Further, 38 markets including Ranganathan Street in T Nagar and other crowded spots will also see vaccine drives to get the shop owners and their staff vaccinated. 

“With the lockdown relaxing, these areas will see an increase in crowds. The footfall in malls is increasing and the supermarkets too are seeing customers. Every day these shopkeepers, sellers and mall staff are exposed to hundreds to thousands of people. Further, the malls are indoors and see huge crowds on weekends, which puts the staff and shopkeepers at risk of exposure. It is due to this that the GCC decided to hold drives in shopping malls," he said. Further, he added that vaccine drives were being held, based on availability, in T Nagar’s Pitty Thyagaraya auditorium. 

“At every mall or market, we plan to hold drives with 100- 200 doses of vaccines. While priority will be given to the employees and shopkeepers, the general public too can come and get vaccinated,” Vishu Mahajan said. The Deputy Collector added that the corporation has targeted 50,000 people in markets and 10,000 people in malls to be vaccinated. 

So far, two malls in the city - Express Avenue and Chennai Citi Centre - reported that 90% of their employees and shopkeepers were fully vaccinated. 

“We have also suggested to mall owners that they can place a board stating that all their staff and shopkeepers are fully vaccinated. This will create positive competition between malls and also create trust among shoppers or customers,” he added. 

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