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Corporates, Residents Come Together For Vaccination Outreach In Delhi



Shishupal works eight hours everyday, cleaning cars and earns around Rs 10,000 each month

New Delhi:

Shishupal, 46, has been working at a unit of automotive manufacturer Toyota in Gurugram for the last 3 years. He spends eight hours everyday, cleaning cars and earns around Rs 10,000 each month. A major part of his salary is spent on rent and in sending money back to his family in a small town in Uttar Pradesh. He fears he might contract the coronavirus infection but would have preferred getting vaccinated only at a private hospital where he would have to pay for the jabs. However, Rs 500 for two vaccine doses was out of reach.

Relief came in the form of a vaccination camp organised by his company on Friday in collaboration with Medanta Hospital where he received his first dose of Covishield for free.

Speaking to NDTV, Shishupal said, “The camp here made things very easy for me since it’s so readily accessible. Going all the way to a hospital would have taken a lot of effort and I was not considering doing it any time soon. Rs 250 per dose is too much for people like me who are economically weak. I was thinking that the vaccine has just been launched so it’s expensive. I was going to wait a few more months in the hope that it would get cheaper.”

DT Naik, CEO of MGF Toyota, told NDTV, “Covid infections are increasing at a rapid rate and it was important to protect our workforce at the earliest. We had been waiting for the government to give us the approval and we are glad that we have been able to get it started. 1,200 employees will get vaccinated over the course of the next few days at this camp.”

After the Gurugram health department’s approval to set up Covid vaccination camps in office premises, Medanta is now conducting at least five such camps everyday at different corporate units, vaccinating on an average 100 people between 10 am and 4 pm.

Rajesh Akhoon, Sales Head (Corporate) of Medanta Medicity, told NDTV, “At each camp, we have 16-17 members of our staff, including specialists. We also keep our ambulance ready in case of any medical emergencies. All protocols are being followed.”

At Garden Estate – Gurugram’s oldest condominium – most residents are retired senior citizens like 67-year-old Ashok Garg and his wife 65-year-old Poonam Garg. The couple got their first jab today at the vaccination camp organised at the premises.

Getting inoculated so easily is an advantage for Mr Garg who has been on dialysis for the last five years and was hospitalised for 12 days a few months ago when he contracted the coronavirus infection. His wife is a cardiac patient.

“I am so relieved that my society made the effort to hold it right here. Me and my wife stay alone and would have had to arrange a car and go through all the procedures. We are old and have several ailments so things are tougher. Mentally, I will feel so much more assured after getting the jab. It will make me feel safer,” Ashok Garg told NDTV.

Residential societies in Delhi do not have the permission to organise vaccination camps but Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) are doing their bit. Sanjay Anand, President of RWA of Greater Kailash E-Block said , “We have tied up with two hospitals – Phoenix and SCI. Our residents send us all their details through a message on WhatsApp. We forward the texts to the hospital and then the hospital gets back to us with the time slots and in daily batches of 20 people, the vaccinations are being done.”

Over 6.75 vaccine doses have been administered in India till April 2, the health ministry said. India opened up vaccination against the viral disease for all people above the age of 45 from April 1. The countrywide vaccination drive – the world’s largest – was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated.

On Friday, India saw the biggest daily surge in Covid cases since early October with 81,466 fresh infections reported since Thursday, taking the tally to 1.23 crore. The country saw 469 new fatalities, highest since December 6, according to official data.

(With inputs from Saurabh Shukla)

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