CHENNAI: With less than a week left for the Covid-19 vaccination drive that kicks off on January 16, many private clinics, specially ‘single doctor clinics’ across the State, have not yet updated the particulars of their healthcare workers in the CoWIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) portal.
This has prompted the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services (DMRHS) to send notices to such individual private establishments on Saturday, requesting them to submit the relevant details within 48 hours.“Failure to provide data in time will attract further action as per the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Clinical Establishments Act,” the notice warned.
The data accessed by Express showed that in Chennai, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Madurai, Tiruchy, and Tirunelveli districts, less than 40 per cent of private healthcare facilities submitted the particulars of their workers for Covid vaccination.
This, despite the health department officials repeatedly requesting private clinics, mostly single doctor establishments, to register in the portal. The notice, issued by DMRHS, has asked the healthcare units to motivate their employees and facilitate the vaccination drive.
‘Motivate staff to register on CoWIN’
The notice, issued by DMRHS, said, “Considering the pandemic situation, all healthcare units should facilitate vaccination against Covid-19 by motivating the employees concerned and sharing the details of individuals in time with the local health authority.” About 4.32 lakh healthcare workers have so far registered themselves on the CoWIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) portal in Tamil Nadu, even as the State has planned to prioritise inoculation of six lakh healthcare workers who come under the high-risk group in the first phase. S Gurunathan, director, DMRHS, said, “It should not be a forced exercise, so we are trying to educate them in different ways.
During a pandemic, they should also take care of their employees. We are only telling them to facilitate and motivate the employees to take the vaccinat ion, for their own benefit.” Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan echoed this view, saying, “Around 4.32 lakh beneficiaries have registered. Many big private clinical establishments have registered, but the problem is peimarily with the singledoctor clinics.” The officials said in Chennai alone, over 5,000 clinics are being issued notice.
They said the number of people who registered might go up as they are receiving more entries after the notice. In the government sector, almost 99 per cent of clinical establishments submitted the particulars of their healthcare workers. Joint directors in the districts have been asked to monitor the registrations, said Radhakrishnan. In Dindigul, Erode, Nagapattinam, Pudukkottai, Salem, Tiruppur, Tiruvallur, Tiruvarur, and Virudhunagar districts, 40-79 per cent of clinical institutes have submitted the data of beneficiaries; while in other districts, over 80 per cent of the institutes have registered.
THE WAY FORWARD
20% of State’s population (1.6 crore people) to be vaccinated in 2021
Who gets priority
1. Healthcare workers
- Staff at govt and private institutions, including contractual/outsourced/dailywage labourers
2. Frontline workers
- Police, armed reserved, home guard personnel, staff of civil defense organisations
- State govt revenue officials, as per revised guidelines (Dec 28, 2020)
3. Vulnerable people
- Persons above the age of 50years
- Persons with comorbidities
No clarity on why details were not submitted
“We repeatedly reminded private clinical institutions to submit their details, but we really do not know why so many of them failed to do so,” said CN Raja, national vice president of the Indian Medical Association
TN covid stats
New cases: 724
Active cases: 7,164
Samples tested: 64,080
Cases in and around Chennai
Chengalpattu: 40 cases
- Zero new cases in Perambalur district
- 19 districts reported less than 10 new cases
- 4 passengers, two each from US and UAE tested positive
- 1 private lab, Elango Diagnostics, Thiruvallur, approved for Covid-19 testing
Source: Media bulletin issued by Directorate of Public Health
Polio immunisation drive postponed
The national Pulse Polio Immunisation drive scheduled from January 17 has been postponed by the Union Health Ministry, according to a communication sent to States on Saturday. The decision to postpone the drive comes in the wake of the Union government announcing that the Covid-19 vaccination programme will be conducted from January 16.