Why can’t Centre have a national policy for door-to-door vaccination?: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday told the central government that it should conduct a “surgical strike” on Covid-19, a “bigger enemy”, and provide door-to-door vaccination to the needy, elderly and specially-abled persons who cannot visit vaccination centers.
The Court asked the Centre why the ‘door-to-door’ policy for needy persons, as started in other states and Union Territories including Kerala, Bihar, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir, could not be adopted in Maharashtra, and why the Centre did not have a ‘national policy’ for the same instead of current initiative of ‘near-to-door vaccination’ for such persons.
The bench also sought to know whether the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) or the state government enabled a ‘senior politician’ to receive the second vaccine dose at his home in Mumbai in April, and said it had raised questions since the first few hearings of the PIL seeking ‘door-to-door’ vaccination in the state.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed by city-based lawyers Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking directions to the Centre, the Maharashtra government and the BMC to provide a door-to-door vaccination facility for people over 75 years of age, the specially-abled and the bed-ridden.
On Tuesday, the HC had appreciated the central government’s decision of “near to home” Covid-19 vaccination centres for elderly and differently-abled persons but asked it to consider further measures to remove the difficulties and risks, cited by it, for initiating ‘door-to-door’ inoculation of the needy.
On Wednesday, petitioners submitted details pertaining to ‘door-to-door vaccination’ initiatives by various civic and state authorities, including Kerala state health department’s May 31 decision for ‘Covid-19 vaccination of bedridden patients above 45 years of age’.
ASG Singh submitted that the Centre is coming up with new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for vaccination for the needy in this week and it will be a national policy.
Let us know your (Centre) response during the next hearing. We trust the government and it can come up with sound policies. Considering the situation in the country, if it (door-to-door) has happened in the South, extreme North and East then why not west?” HC said.
“The Court also questioned senior counsel Anil Sakhare representing BMC and reminded him that the civic authority had earlier said that it was ready for door to door vaccination provided central government allows it.

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