Pune: One of the badly hit cities by COVID-19, Pune has now set up the services of a private operator, Vaccine On Wheels (VOW) to support the current COVID-19 vaccination drive.
The PMC’s (Pune Municipal Corporation) Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agrawal and VOW's founder and CEO Jignesh Patel recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to the effect in the city to start the initiative.
Agarwal stated that the COVID situation has already affected many lives and unfortunately we are being hit by a second wave. Currently it is best that everybody gets vaccinated at the earliest. With this new advantage, the PMC aim to ramp up the vaccination rate for the city.
Explaining the details about the project, Patel said that the VOW will give its van along with a doctor, two nurses and 4-5 other healthcare staffers along with a operated ambulance to tackle any Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) at the government-designated vaccination booths for the vaccination process.
“A government official will be present to monitor and guide the drive which we shall conduct with our staffers. We plan to vaccinate around 150 persons daily following all the government protocols free of cost,” Patel was quoted as saying by IANS.
The VOW's first such COVID-19 vaccination contribution was already started in PCMC area (Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation) from April 17. While the entire infrastructure and vaccines are supplied by the government, the VOW's team would help with administering the vaccines, Patel added. This unit has immunised 2,000 people at an average of 200 immunisations per day
In partnership with the Rotary Club of Pune-Central, VOW plans to install 15 such mobile vaccination units in Pune to vaccinate around 100,000 citizens in Pune city and later plans to expand to other cities or other states.
VOW was launched two years back in collaboration with IIT-Hyderabad and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as a mobile vaccination centre, and has now ventured into the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Meanwhile, Pune on Sunday registered 11,661 new COVID-19 cases taking the progressive total to 8,60,844 in the district. Of the total cases, 4,044 new cases were reported from Pune City (Pune Municipal Corporation) followed by 2,933 in Pimpri Chinchwad (Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation). While, rural part of Pune also registered 3,824 new cases followed by 710 in Councils.
The district also witnessed 159 deaths taking the progressive death count to 13,396. On the positive front, 9,566 patients were fully recovered on Sunday which took the number of recoveries to 7,48,870.
(With agency inputs)