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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Odisha health department on Tuesday directed all district Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to prioritise high risk groups among citizens of 45 years and above for COVID-19 vaccination commencing April 1.

The health department has categorised street vendors, meat/fish sellers, auto / bus drivers, School /college teachers, salon/ barber shop employees, security guards, restaurant staff and temple/church/ mosque priests as the high risk group.

“These persons have a wide network of interaction and special emphasis must be given to cover them early. List of such persons should be made and time bound coverage must be ensured,” additional chief secretary (health) Pradipta Mohapatra wrote.

Mohapatra further said that the State has set a daily target of vaccinating two lakh people and the vaccination will also be held on government holidays on April 1 (Utkal Divas) and April 2 (Good Friday).

“We have revised the district wise target for each district to achieve 2 lakh vaccinations per day, which was earlier one lakh per day. The vaccination will have to be continued even on 1st & 2nd April 2021 though these are government holidays. All districts must take adequate steps to achieve the daily target through constant monitoring and also by increasing COVID Vaccination Centres (CVOs),” Mohapatra wrote.

The health department has also decided to vaccinate employees engaged in providing essential services like Electricity Supply, Water Supply and Road Transport services as Frontline Workers (FLWs).

“The staff must bring with him the Identity Card/ Authorized Letter from the employer in support of their service along with their Aadhaar Card to the Vaccination Centre,” Mohapatra wrote in another letter.

The Collectors and Municipal Commissioners have been requested to ensure vaccination of the utility staff through on-spot registration in COWIN portal at nearby COVID vaccination Centres.

Meanwhile, the BMC has set the target to vaccinate all citizens above the age of 45 following an order by the government.

“Intensive sensitisation regarding this has been started and it would be communicated at all level and we can more numbers of citizens could be vaccinated. Special emphasis has been given to particular groups who are supposed to be vulnerable,” the BMC said.

(Edited Suryakant Jena)

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