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Cyclone Tauktae: BMC suspends Covid vaccine drive in Mumbai on Monday too

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Mumbai, May 16: The Mumbai civic body on Sunday decided to keep its COVID-19 vaccination drive suspended for the third day on May 17 in view of the warning about cyclone Tauktae, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said.

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had on Friday announced that there would be no inoculation on May 15 and 16 considering the India Meteorological Department''s cyclone warning.

The vaccination programme will now be implemented on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Chahal said.

According to the IMD, cyclone Tauktae has intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" and is very likely to reach the Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross it between Porbandar and Mahuva in Bhavnagar district around the early morning of May 18.

A BMC official had earlier said that the civic body has shifted 580 patients from Covid care centres in the city as a precautionary measure in view of the warning that cyclone Tauktae is likely to pass close to the city.

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Meanwhile, Chahal also said the central government has issued directions to maintain a gap of 12 to 16 weeks between two doses of Covishield vaccine. Hence, nobody except health care workers and frontline workers will be eligible for the second Covishield dose at present as vaccination for other categories had commenced on March 1.

"Due to this change, the civic body has decided to extend the walk-in (vaccination) facility for citizens above 60 years of age for the first Covishield dose during May 18- 20," he said.

Last week, the BMC had announced that the citizens above 60 years of age, who are waiting for the second dose of Covishield vaccine, the beneficiaries yet to get the second dose of Covaxin and the disabled person can opt for walk-in vaccination from Monday to Wednesday.

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