Hyderabad : An expert from the Indian Medical Association has now stressed the need to ramp up vaccinations in a similar way as elections are conducted by placing vaccination centers closer to people’s homes.
Speaking to Siasat, Dr. Md. Iqbal Jaweed, said that instead of imposing lockdown which impacts the economy and also the daily wage earners, government should have taken up vaccination on war footing.
Suggesting layer by layer section of society be vaccinated he said that the government was right when it announced vaccination for people above 65 years of age group followed by 45 years with co morbidities and later 45 years and above, but it should not have announced vaccination for the age group of 18 and above till it completed the 45 years and above category.
He then added that the govt should have also taken up vaccination for those vulnerable like street vendors, slum dwellers those living on streets as some of them could be likely vectors (carriers) .
Government should also identify areas where the COVID-19 is highly prevalent and vaccinate all those residing in the areas where the cases are high, he suggested.
He was critical about opening up of markets for four hours which can also lead to spread of virus so instead the government should allow vendors inside the lanes to supply the daily essentials and perishables. Grocery and medical shops should be allowed to function as people will then go to nearby areas and purchase at their own pace and not crowd at shops he added.
Speaking about the upcoming third wave threat and preparedness of hospitals, Jaweed said that in the present wave itself five percent of children have been affected with the virus. The situation will be critical if the B.1.167 variant hits the City . This variant has created havoc in Maharashtra, therefore Hyderabad needs to be well prepared and for that vaccination is the only key .
He said that there are more than 23 strains and they will continue to mutate . There is a need to create herd immunity by at least vaccinating 60 to 70 percent of the population.
Priority should be given to children who are obese or having any congenital co-morbidities followed by other children once vaccine is available . He said that Hyderabad has the infrastructure, manpower and resources except the vaccine hence once enough stocks are procured Government should take up vaccination on priority.
He advised to have a plan of action in place to ramp up medical facilities exclusively for children by creating special COVID-19 wards at all hospitals in every district.