Wrote to PM to allow states to create own online platforms to help people schedule slots: Uddhav

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that he has requested the Centre to allow states to create their own online platforms to help people register and schedule their slots for Covid-19 vaccination.

Thackeray said this during an address to the people where he announced that the state will begin the vaccination drive for the 18 to 44 age group from May 1 — on the occasion of Maharashtra Day.

On the CoWin application crashing soon after registration for the Phase III of the vaccination drive began on April 28, Thackeray said that he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting either to create separate applications for states or allow states to create their own apps, which would be linked to CoWin.

“I have written to the PM requesting to create a separate application for the state or allow states to create their own applications and link them to CoWin,” he said, adding that it will make the vaccination process smooth.

Thackeray further said that Maharashtra has received a letter from the Union government, stating that it will provide around 18 lakh doses to the state in May.

“Today, we have 3 lakh doses left… as and when we get more doses, we will administer them to the people. The doses have been distributed based on population and patient load,” he said. The CM added that the number of doses being administered will increase considerably in June and July.

Urging people not to crowd vaccination centres on Saturday, Thackeray said that people should go to the centres only after registering on CoWin. “We are fully prepared to vaccinate all those in the 18 to 44 age group. But there will be some chaos initially. So, it is important not to rush directly to the vaccination centres. We need to ensure that the centres do not become super spreaders.”

The CM also said that to get the required number of doses, the government is ready to make full payment at one go to vaccine manufacturers for the 12 crore jabs it needs to vaccinate 5.71 crore people in the 18-44 age group. “But availability of doses is limited… we again urge the Centre to pay attention and help the state in getting adequate supply of doses,” he added.

Thackeray said the prevailing lockdown-like restrictions have helped contain the spread of Covid-19 cases, with the number stabilising at around 6 lakh to 6.5 lakh instead of the projected 9 lakh to 10 lakh cases.

“Strict lockdown, like last year, is required but we don’t feel that such a time will come,” he said referring to Bombay High Court asking the state advocate general whether it is required to impose a complete lockdown.

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