Mumbai mayor: Third Covid wave threat not over; ready to vaccinate kids but awaiting norms

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© Provided by Hindustan Times Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Monday cautioned that the threat of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over. She also said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is ready to vaccinate around 3 million children, but is waiting for guidelines from the Central government. (ANI)

Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Monday cautioned that the threat of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over. She also said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is ready to vaccinate around 3 million children, but is waiting for guidelines from the Central government. The civic body has also issued guidelines for reopening of colleges from October 20.

A day after the city reported zero-Covid death, Pednekar while speaking to mediapersons on Monday, said, “We cannot yet say that the third wave will not come as the threat is still there. We need to follow all the Covid- safety protocols as we are heading towards festivals such as Diwali.”

Pednekar added, “The vaccination drive for children will start after receiving guidelines from the Central government and the required stock of vaccines for this age group.”

The decks were cleared for children to be included in India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive after the government’s subject expert committee (SEC) on October 12 recommended granting an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for the two to 18 age group.

In the city, schools have reopened for classes 8 to 12, owing to which BMC had earlier indicated that it is ready to vaccinate the city’s adolescents as soon as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) permits the vaccination programme for children. It also said that it will not require any infrastructure upgrade for the rollout of vaccination for children.

Meanwhile, BMC also issued a notification permitting the reopening of colleges in the city from October 20. All the guidelines issued by the University of Mumbai (MU), including staggered timing for lectures, social distancing and vaccination, will have to be followed by the colleges. BMC in the notification has asked colleges to get in touch with their local ward officers for vaccinating students and staff members who are yet to get their first or second doses.

The civic body has also allowed the reopening of theatres and auditoriums at 50% capacity as approved by the state government. The state in its guidelines last week had allowed only people with Covid-19 vaccination certificates or the Aarogya Setu app showing their status as “safe” to visit theatres and auditoriums.

Meanwhile, the city reported 371 cases and four deaths on Monday, taking the tally to 752,030 and toll to 16,184. There are 5,723 active cases in the city. On Monday, 79,692 vaccine doses were administered to citizens. Around 97% of the eligible population has got at least the first dose, while 55% have got both doses.

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