Puducherry, June 18(BPNS)
Mahe geographically sandwiched between the districts of Kozhikode and Kannur in Kerala but under the administration of the Union Territory of Puducherry has injected the first dose of the Covid -19 vaccine to 90% of its population.
By this achievement, Mahe district has come second in the country for having inoculated the first dose to 90% of its population after South Delhi.
Mahe which is geographically spread across a 9 km area and in between Thalassery and Vatakara of Kannur and Kozhikode districts of Kerala has a population of nearly 45,000. Of this, the targeted population for vaccination is much less as children under 18 are excluded.
Of the 20,908 adult population above the age of 45, 90% have been given the first dose of the vaccine, according to the Mahe Regional health department officials. 23% of this population above the age of 45 is given the second dose of the vaccine as well, officials said.
Other than this approximately 85% of the 13,050 people between the age group of 18-44 have also been given the first dose of the vaccine.
Shivraj Meena IAS and administrator of Mahe while speaking to BPNS said,” When I took charge, there was confusion and people were a bit reluctant to take the jab fearing side effects. Immediately I called upon a meeting of political parties, religious leaders and other concerned people and explained to them the need to expedite the process of vaccination for the betterment of society. I also told that if we don’t vaccinate the second wave is going to hit us badly and luckily for me, people understood the gravity of the situation and we could carry out the vaccination drive properly.”
He also said that meticulous planning was behind the success of the vaccination drive in the Mahe area.
Meena said, “ We formed 30 squads and these squads were given the targets to make the people realize the importance of vaccination. Each team was given a target of reaching out to 100 people a day and this was achieved easily. Once their apprehensions were cleared, people came forward and requested the health department to vaccinate them.”
With systematic and meticulous planning, the Mahe administration was able to bring down the number of active cases to 89 and the Test Positivity Rate to 6%, a feat that could be emulated in the neighbouring districts of Kerala as well.