Vaccination scam fallout: civic bodies tighten SOPs, housing societies turn more vigilant | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Vaccination scam fallout: civic bodies tighten SOPs, housing societies turn more vigilant

ByAnkita Menon and Jyoti Shelar, Mumbai
Jul 13, 2021 01:09 AM IST

The vaccination which came to light last month, in which over 4000 people were administered saline water in fake vaccination drives across the city, has left many residents of high rise housing societies wary even as civic bodies have issued new guidelines to ensure greater vigilance

The vaccination which came to light last month, in which over 4000 people were administered saline water in fake vaccination drives across the city, has left many residents of high rise housing societies wary even as civic bodies have issued new guidelines to ensure greater vigilance.

HT Image
HT Image

Housing society members of Royal Heights in Vartak Nagar, Thane, are exercising extreme vigilance before conducting a vaccination drive. “There were multiple questions on the authenticity of the vaccine raised by our residents as a result of the vaccination scam. So we have to ensure that we are dealing with reliable people to provide the vaccine doses. We are in touch with the civic body and hospitals,” said Anand Rao, chairman of the housing society. The society, which is in touch with a private hospital for conducting the drive, sought confirmation from the Thane Municipal Corporation that it was a valid vaccine provider.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The TMC’s protocol, prepared on July 8 states that any society or private establishment that conducts a vaccination drive needs to inform the civic body. “If any private vaccination drive is being organized within Thane city we find out about those providing vaccine doses. We also send a team of officials to check the details and formalities related to the drive this includes the authenticity of the vaccine doses. Only after all this is checked do we give a go ahead to any private vaccination drive,” said Dr Amol Gitte, incharge of the private vaccination facility within TMC jurisdiction.

A similar approach is being followed by Mumbai’s ward officers.

“We have mandated that the private vaccination centres should inform the ward office before organising the drive. Our doctors and field staff visit the location before the arrangements for the vaccination drive are made,” Dr Nitish Thakur, a medical officer in P-South ward said.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s first set of guidelines for private vaccination centres and housing societies were issued on May 7. On June 14, municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal issued a second circular reiterating the requirements including the need for a Memorandum of Understanding between the housing society and the private vaccination centre or hospital providing the vaccines. On July 1, the civic body circulated a revised set of guidelines that said that the ward’s medical officer and police should be intimated prior to the vaccination drive.

Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer of BMC said that the new guidelines direct housing society committees to demand copies of bills and receipts of purchase of vaccine from the private centres. Housing societies have also been asked to destroy the labels on the vaccine vials to prevent misuse.

Ajitkumar Ambi, assistant municipal commissioner of N Ward said that two queries were registered in the ward, which includes Ghatkopar, in the past few weeks. “Our medical officers and other field staff immediately visited the spot to verify. Because of the widespread news about the scams, the housing society members are now more alert while negotiating with private centres,” he said. The medical officer and field staff did not find any discrepancies and the vaccination drives were carried out thereafter.

Mumbai has administered over 6 million doses so far, of which nearly 2.5 million doses have been administered at private vaccination centres. In Thane, of the 600,000 vaccinations that have taken place till date, 180,000 have been at private vaccination centres.

Last month, residents of Hiranandani Heritage in Kandivli complained to the authorities about a suspicious vaccination drive held in their housing society on May 30 and June 1. Some of the 390 residents who were vaccinated received certificates from different hospitals, and with the wrong date. It emerged that they were victims of an elaborate scam, allegedly masterminded by Dr Shivraj Pataria, wife Neeta – who run Shivam Hospital in Charkop -- and associate Dr Manish Tripathi, who runs a training centre for medical staff in its premises. At least 14 people have been booked.

The BMC on Monday said that it sought guidelines from both the state and the Centre on vaccinating the victims of the scam. Officials said that the police investigation revealed that none of the victims received genuine vaccine doses and remained vulnerable to the pandemic.

“To vaccinate them we will need a set of guidelines from the state or central government. Many of the victims also have been issued certificates. These certificates will have to be nullified and fresh certificates will have to be issued after genuine vaccination,” Gomare said.

This comes in the backdrop of reports about a resident of Hiranandani Park in Kandivali where the vaccination scam was first reported testing positive for Covid-19.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Mumbai. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and more across India. Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On