Kochi (Kerala) [India], May 4 (ANI): The Kerala High Court on Tuesday sought the opinion of the state government on instituting suo motu proceedings to curb overcrowding at Covid vaccination centers and directed the state Police Chief to ensure personnel are deployed outside vaccination centers for empathetic persuasion without using force.
The Court further listed the matter for May 7.
The Court asked the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, "You were able to complete an election, why don't you have more vaccination centers?"
The Court quoted media reports of overcrowding at vaccination centres in several places across the state, and said, "The newspapers have reported an incident of overcrowding in Thiruvananthapuram on April 26. We received information about overcrowding in front of the vaccine centre at Ernakulam General Hospital. We have been alerted by press reports that there is uncontrolled crowding of persons seeking vaccinations."
"There may be several reasons why persons may be crowding. Perhaps they believe there are not enough vaccines or they want to get vaccinated before exposure to the virus or because of rumours circulating. Fact remains that papers report chaotic scenes before vaccine centers. Reliable information that crowding at Ernakulam General Hospital for the second dose is unabated," it added.
The Court said that if uncontrolled crowding is permitted at vaccination centers, then the situation will "boomerang" and instead of being prophylactic, vaccination drive will be a super spreader.
The state Attorney informed the Court that Kerala is one of the states where not one vaccine dose has been wasted.
"This augurs well for the system. We are happy at how the state and healthcare system has risen to the occasion. However, we cannot allow nervous congregation at any of the vaccinations centers. The crowding at vaccine centers seems to be because there is an impression that there are not enough vaccines. Fears of public on the availability of vaccines, both of first and second dose needs to be assuaged," the Court added. (ANI)