25,000 doses in 3 days unrealistic target, demoralized by DC’s comments, UPHC says in letter to CM

ITANAGAR, 3 Jun: The medical team of the Itafort urban primary health centre (UPHC) said that the frequently changing government orders to vaccinate 25,000 people is “an unrealistic target” and the crowd congestion is likely to cause a spike in Covid cases.

In a message to Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the doctors and staffers of the Itafort UPHC said that the government orders were changing frequently and within a day’s time, without any planning on how to achieve the target and without proper communication of the changes to the officials working on the ground.

“This has caused a mad rush at the vaccination centres, created crowd congestion, and it is very likely to cause a spike in Covid cases,” a senior doctor of the UPHC said, and suggested that the state government also include the health department in the planning and implementation process.

He also informed that seven Covid positive cases were detected at the old art & culture office site in Naharlagun, where 528 people had registered for vaccination.

“Even today, we have been informed that more positive cases were detected from the same vaccination site. If there is such a crowd at the vaccination centres, then the cases of Covid will only increase,” the senior doctor said.

Seeking the cooperation of the citizens, he said, “Taking the vaccine is important, but a delay of a day or two is advisable, instead of rushing into the crowds and getting exposed to the virus.”

The doctors and staffers also said that the CoWIN portal is not user-friendly, and while “it is feasible for a planned vaccination drive, it is not tailored for a mass vaccination drive.”

“The delay in administrating vaccinations is not because of the vaccination procedure itself but due to the confusion caused by onsite, online or offline registration systems,” he added.

On the incident wherein the ICR deputy commissioner Talo Potom had berated a health official of the UPHC, the medical team said that “the language used by the DC has hurt the sentiments of all the workers and demoralized their spirits.”

“There were technical issues in the registration process of a 39-year-old lady who had come to get vaccinated. She was told to wait and to try and get registered online first. This was misinterpreted and shown as if we did not want to give vaccines,” he said.

“Telling us that we were planning on killing them in front of the media and public is very unfortunate and very disheartening,” he said.

The UPHC team has also requested the chief minister to visit the UPHC to witness the dilapidated condition of the centre.

“The Itafort health unit building is almost on the verge of collapse due to rainwater leakage everywhere, and is exposing the electrical circuit and other machines, posing serious threat to both staffers and patients,” the officials and staffers said.

The Itafort UPHC is the only government health unit and the main Covid vaccination centre in the capital.

“Other sites, such as the RKMH vaccination centre, the Ashoka triage centre, rapid response teams for Covid patient monitoring and flying squad duty for random RAT are also manned and include staffers of the Itafort UPHC,” they said.