The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would roll out Covid-19 vaccination at homes for bedridden and immobile persons in Mumbai from Aug 1. The court appreciated the move and said the state government had ‘risen to the occasion’ and there was ‘some light at the end of the tunnel’.
The court added that while the central government ‘did not rise to the occasion’ as it had not complied with requests for door-to-door vaccination policy earlier and instead retained the ‘near-to-home’ policy, the state government had taken necessary decisions for the benefit of the bedridden and immobile persons.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni heard a PIL by city-based lawyers Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari giving directions to the Centre, State and BMC to provide a door-to-door vaccination facility to aged and bed-ridden people.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni and advocate Akshay Shinde representing the Maharashtra government submitted that the state had come up with a draft policy for door-to-door vaccination of needy persons. As of July 19, nearly 17,288 bedridden and immobile persons who could get the jab at their residence were identified across Maharashtra, the state government submitted.
Kumbhakoni submitted the draft policy wherein physically disabled, wheelchair-bound persons, patients on stretchers, patients who were immune-compromised and those on chemotherapy or terminally ill patients who could not be transported safely were identified as eligible for receiving vaccination at home.
Kumbhakoni further informed the court that pursuant to notices published in newspapers as well as website notices, as of July 19, 3,505 persons expressed their interest in being vaccinated at home within the BMC area and a decision was taken to start vaccinating such persons from August 1 strictly in consonance with policy guidelines which are framed by state.
Senior Counsel Anil Sakhare for BMC said that the civic authority would enable free-of-cost vaccination through these beneficiaries starting from Aug 1 and the policy was required for private hospitals too as they could also provide facilities of home vaccination now.