A COVID-19 Vaccination Centre (CVC) in Narasaraopet town of Andhra Pradesh witnessed a massive rush of people on May 7, Friday. Visuals from the spot showed hundreds of people in the town in Guntur district thronging the vaccination centre, violating COVID-19 protocols and physical distancing norms. Some managed to storm into the centre, according to a police official.
According to official sources, the incident took place near Urban Health Centre, where the vaccination facility was set up. Though the police tried to control the vaccine beneficiaries, they were not able to control them beyond a point due to the huge crowd and fewer police officials at the scene.
According to reports, the crowd at the vaccine centre increased by afternoon when information spread that the vaccines to administer the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine shot had arrived. "Many beneficiaries, including those who wanted to get the first dose of the vaccine, rushed to the centre, although we insisted that we were administering only the second dose,” Guntur District Medical and Health Officer (DM&HO) J Yasmin told TNM. She further stated that she will seek a report from District Deputy Medical and Health Officer (DyDMHO) about what led to the sudden rush at the vaccine centre.
According to Narasaraopeta police officials, more than 650 people arrived at the vaccine centre, while the second dose of the vaccine was arranged only for 350 people, according to the police.
“There were only a few policemen to manage the crowd at the time. However, we managed to bring the situation under control within two to three minutes," a police officer said.
Due to the shortage of the vaccine in Andhra Pradesh, authorities in the district were administering only the second dose for people above 45 years of age, healthcare workers and frontline workers. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had earlier said that phase three of the vaccination drive for individuals between 18 and 44 years will not begin on May 1, as announced by the Union government.
Mass gatherings in violation of the COVID-19 protocols are raising concerns in the state. A total of 1,348 people tested positive for coronavirus in Guntur district on Thursday, taking the total active cases to 18,334. The active cases in the state stand at 1,82,329.