Poonam Singh

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Saturday evening announced suspension of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the state till Monday owing to technical glitches in the Co-Win app.

The app has been created by the Centre for managing registration for the inoculation. A nationwide inoculation drive for coronavirus began on Saturday morning.

"Not just in Maharashtra, everywhere in the country this app created problems in the execution of vaccination drive. We have decided to suspend the vaccination for the next two days," state public health minister Rajesh Tope told PTI.

"On January 8, when a dry run was conducted, and again today I specifically pointed out problems with the Co-Win app and Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said he will look into it," the minister said.

Earlier in the day, a senior health department official in Maharashtra said that owing to problems in the App, text messages were not sent to many persons who were supposed to get the vaccine shot on Saturday.

"The state government had planned inoculation of 28,500 healthworkers on the first day but the problems in Co-WIN, which were noticed on late Friday night, could not be fixed till Saturday evening," the official said.

As many as 18,425 beneficiaries, or 65 per cent of the target for the first day, were given the shot across the state on Saturday, he said.

"We could not use it to generate SMSes to intimate healthworkers that they should come to the inoculation centre to receive the jab. In the absence of SMS, the health worker cannot come to the centre for inoculation," he said.

Out of 36 districts, Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban districts reported lowest 47 and 49 per cent inoculation of the target, the data showed.

Hingoli district recorded 100 per cent vaccination as all 200 healthworkers who were supposed to be inoculated on the first day received the jab, officials said.

In a late night tweet, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Commissioner announced that the vaccination drive will remain suspended on January 17 and 18.

It's mandatory for all to register themselves on the CoWin app before they can be called for the vaccine jab, it added.

Efforts are on to rectify the problems in the CoWin app after which registration will begin and the vaccination drive will resume from Tuesday.

(With PTI Inputs)