As many cities have reported a severe shortage of the Covid-19 vaccines, the country's financial capital reeled under desperation with many government and private inoculation centres downing shutters in Mumbai on Friday.
A quick search on the official Cowin website for Bangalore hospitals for Covaxin has shown no availability of slot for over ten days. Some hospitals with Covaxin in their BBMP allotment have revealed that only Covishield is available and not Covaxin.
In Mumbai, the city's biggest centre at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) had barely 150 doses left by this afternoon and that was being administered to the people as per the rules, frontline workers and those above 45 years, said an official.
Among the estimated two-dozen plus centres that have already discontinued vaccination for the time being is the BKC jumbo facility, NESCO in Goregaon, besides many others run by private hospitals.
Printed or hand-scrawled notices have been posted outside many centres in the city and the state announced that owing to a shortage of doses, the vaccination process has been discontinued temporarily.
Stocks not reached
A worried Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar assured that some stocks are expected later this evening (April 9) from the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune.
"Many vaccination centres in Mumbai have come down to zero doses now and inoculations have been stopped there. We understand that between 75,000-1,00,000 doses may be received this evening and await official confirmation," Pednekar told media persons.
Pednekar, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh, state Congress President Nana Patole, Nationalist Congress Party President and Minister Jayant Patil besides Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray have appealed for an end to politicizing the critical issue of providing vaccines and urged that all must join hands to mitigate the peoples' sufferings.
Scarcity of vaccines
The scarcity situation was similar in several other districts, major cities or towns with vaccine stocks expected to be exhausted by this evening, as per reports trickling in.
In view of the high population and the highest number of Covid cases and fatalities in Maharashtra, top state leaders have urged the Centre to provide the maximum number of doses to help control the pandemic.
Meanwhile, serpentine queues of anxious people were witnessed outside the BKC and NESCO centres where people thronged with prior appointments from distant places in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) since this morning for their life-saving jab.
(With inputs from the Desk)