The Delhi government is running Covid-19 inoculation camps at high-footfall locations of the city such as metro stations, markets, malls and areas near wine shops to widen the vaccination coverage, officials said on Monday.
The national capital has been witnessing an upward trend in coronavirus cases for the past few days and doctors have been emphasising that those still unvaccinated should get the shots.
Among other measures, the number of Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics running vaccination centres have been raised from about 60 in early July to over 140 now, officials said.
Covid-19 cases in Delhi have registered a rise in the last few days. For three consecutive days till Sunday, the city logged over 700 cases daily with the positivity rate climbing to 5.57 per cent on July 24, according to official data.
On June 1, the city had logged 623 Covid-19 cases while the number of infections registered on May 30 was 946.
Delhi health department officials said the government aims to maximise vaccination coverage. Several steps have been taken to boost the number of vaccinated people as inoculation is a key step in combating the pandemic, which is far from over, they said.
"We aim to maximise vaccination coverage and we have been initiating many outreach programmes, including door-to-door surveys, to achieve it.
"Besides, we have had instructions from the chief secretary to target high-footfall areas in the city. We have chosen malls, markets, metro stations, 'Kanwar' camps and even near wine shops where people gather in large numbers," the senior official told PTI.
Vaccination camps are being set up in these identified areas. In residential areas, camps are held for a day or so in association with RWAs depending on the size of the unvaccinated cohort in the area, officials said.
"We set up our camps on the premises of identified metro stations, near the entry and exit points, and also in other high-footfall areas like malls and markets. We want maximum vaccination coverage and if a section of people is not coming to immunisation centres, we will go to them," the senior official said.
Experts have been reiterating that people eligible for Covid-19 vaccination should get their jabs without delay. Doctors have pointed out that despite three waves of the pandemic and a rise in cases again lately, many people are still hesitant and have not even got their first dose.
On Sunday, Delhi logged 729 Covid cases and two fatalities, according to data shared by the city health department.
According to the Sunday bulletin, the total number of Covid vaccine doses administered in the city was 3,56,02,514 while the number of precaution jabs given was 20,39,022.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 17 appealed to Delhiites to get the Covid-19 precaution doses, saying only around 10 per cent of people in the city have done so. He also appealed to parents to get their children in the 12-17 age group vaccinated with the second jab.
Asked about the several Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics being also used as Covid vaccination centres, officials said multiple factors come into play when deciding which sites would be chosen.
"It depends on the size of the unvaccinated cohort in the area, the response of people to short-duration camps run once or twice a week and the proximity to the nearest Covid vaccination centres. The district immunisation officer decides it based on these factors and the final call is made by the higher authorities," the senior official said.
The national capital currently has about 520 mohalla clinics that offer free primary health care services and 212 types of tests to patients.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started on February 2 last year.
The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 last year for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.
Vaccination for all people aged above 45 years began on April 1 last year. The government then decided to expand the ambit of the vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years to be inoculated against Covid from May 1 last year.