643 people in shelters given the first dose
The Greater Chennai Corporation has started vaccination of homeless persons in shelters run by it in various parts of the city.
Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi has ordered officers to prioritise vaccination for homeless persons in these shelters.
According to data shared by the Corporation, 643 homeless people had received the first dose in Corporation shelters.
Deputy Commissioner (Health) Alby John Varghese said all the persons in Corporation shelters will receive vaccination in one week.
The homeless will be identified in each of the 42,000 streets of the city by the civic officials for vaccination.
“Many inmates in the Corporation shelters do not have identity cards. We have started a special drive for vaccination of such homeless persons. Of the 55 shelters, excluding the children’s shelter and special shelters, we have 34 shelters and 1,151 inmates,” said Dr. Varghese.
After completing the vaccination drive for all inmates of shelters, the civic body will launch a vaccination drive for other homeless residents in various parts of the city. “The number of homeless persons is estimated at 8,000. We had some issues regarding vaccination of homeless people. As per the new guidelines, we have launched the vaccination drive,” said Dr. Varghese.
A few years ago, civic officials estimated the number of homeless people at 10,000 and many of them have not been traced by NGOs during the lockdown.
As per earlier guidelines, the homeless persons were vaccinated only after they produced proof of identity, including aadhaar, EPIC, passport, driving licence, PAN card, NPR smart card or pension document. But only 174 of the homeless residents in Chennai were able to produce any of the seven documents for vaccination.
Such persons have received the first dose and second dose. Such group of people including nomads, sadhus, saints from various religions, inmates in mental health institutions, roadside beggars, and persons in rehabilitation centres have been identified for vaccination.
A key facilitator will be identified for the vaccination of such homeless persons, who will have a mobile phone and any of the seven documents. The key facilitator will be officials of institutions, such as Corporation’s shelters or any rehabilitation home.
Special vaccination sessions have been planned for such residents. Many of the homeless residents have been identified in areas such as George Town and T. Nagar and along Rajiv Gandhi Salai and in the northern parts of the city.
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