CoWIN glitches hit vaccination drive in Karnataka

The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination for all senior citizens and those aged above 45 with comorbidities, which began on Monday, was marred by technical glitches on the CoWIN portal. As a result, only 1,576 senior citizens and 374 persons above 45 years with comorbidities were vaccinated on day one in Karnataka.

The health department, which earlier decided to administer the vaccine only on alternate days, has now said the inoculation drive will continue on Tuesday too as many people were eager to get the shot.

Owing to the technical glitches, the drive could not be taken up in some vaccine session sites across the State, including Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (Victoria Hospital) and C.V. Raman General Hospital in Bengaluru.

The drive was delayed by over an hour in some centres where vaccination officials were able to open the portal, but the beneficiary verification and OTP generation took a long time on the portal.

T.S. Ranganath, nodal officer for vaccination at Victoria Hospital, said they were not able to open the portal at all. “We could not start the drive at all due to the portal issues. We took down phone numbers of senior citizens who had lined up for the shot and sent them back. We told them we will call them after the issue is resolved. However, the glitches continued till evening,” the doctor said.

It was a similar scenario at C.V. Raman General Hospital. “If the issue is resolved, we will take up the drive on Tuesday, even though it is not a scheduled vaccination day. We could not start it on Monday,” said H.D.R. Radhakrishna, hospital medical superintendent.

There was chaos in some centres as senior citizens, who had lined up for on-site registration from 9 a.m. itself, were informed that only those who had registered online would be covered on day one. The health department had announced that on-site registrations are allowed only in rural areas. In urban areas, people should register online and then visit the vaccination centre for the shot. However, many turned up at some sites in Bengaluru without registering online.

At K.C. General Hospital, many senior citizens were disappointed as they were told that they should register online first. “We tried registering online but could not open the portal at home. Hence, we came to the hospital as we were told on-site registration is also allowed. But only after waiting for a long time we were told on-site registration is not allowed today,” said a visibly upset 74-year-old Lalithamma, a resident of Malleshwaram.

Officials admitted that the beneficiary verification and OTP generation was getting delayed on the portal due to the heavy load of users.

According to data from the health department, Raichur recorded the highest number of vaccinations in the 45 years and above with comorbidities category with 83 people taking the jab. In the senior citizens category, Mysuru recorded the highest with 285 vaccinations.

Health Commissioner K.V. Trilok Chandra said the glitches were resolved late in the evening. “We will hold another round of orientation for our officials on Tuesday morning and continue with the vaccination,” he said.

Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, who launched the drive at the General Hospital in Sirsi, Uttara Kannada, called upon people to take the jab without any hesitation. He said there are over 50 lakh people above the age of 60 years and 16 lakh with comorbidities in the State.

So far, 4,45,560 healthcare workers and 1,53,546 frontline workers have taken the first dose of vaccination in the State. That apart, 1,91,775 healthcare workers have taken the second dose.

Centenarians, eminent personalities take the jab

Several eminent personalities, centenarians and nonagenarians took the jab on day one of the second phase.

While 102-year-old Subramanian K.N., a retired army officer received the shot at Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal, 97-year-old Ramaswamy Parthasarthy got vaccinated at Manipal Hospitals on Old Airport Road.

Besides, Narayan Murthy, Infosys founder, his wife Sudha Murty and Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys co-founder also took the shot at Narayana Health City.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 4:35:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cowin-glitches-hit-vaccination-drive-in-karnataka/article33965631.ece

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