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Telangana could make vaccination mandatory for entering malls, pubs, parks in Hyderabad

Proposal by Telangana health department recommends that people be vaccinated by at least one dose of vaccine to access public spaces; govt offices could also be added to list.

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Hyderabad: The Telangana government is considering restricting public spaces such as malls, multiplexes and pubs to only vaccinated people in the capital city of Hyderabad in a bid to stave off a possible third wave.

State Director of Public Health, G. Srinivas Rao told ThePrint that the rule will be implemented in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Limits (GHMC) in the first phase, and will later be extended to districts. He added that the health department sent a detailed proposal to the Chief Minister’s Office on the same and a decision is pending.

To enter public places, at least a single dose of vaccination will be required according to the proposed mandate, which could be issued by the end of September, Rao said.

Apart from movie theatres, restaurants, parks and other recreational places, government offices could also be added to the list, a source from the health department told ThePrint.

The GHMC limits include Hyderabad city, and a few parts of Medchal-Malkajgiri, Rangareddy and Sangareddy districts.

Also read: ‘We’re not responsible’ — Hyderabad parents fume as schools say send kids ‘at own risk’

‘Need to maintain precautions in view of 3rd wave’

Rao said the new mandate is being considered in view of a possible third wave occurring.

“It is important that we take as many precautions as possible as we move towards the third wave. If this mandate is in place, at least people would be more willing to get vaccinated. And since we do not have any stringent lockdown and daily activities have resumed, such a step is a mandatory measure. If the state government approves the proposal, we can see the rule being implemented from September end,” Rao said.

He added that plans were being drawn up to ramp up vaccination in districts.

The GHMC had in August taken up a 15-day vaccination drive with an aim to vaccinate 100 per cent of the city’s population aged 18 and above. The drive, which began 23 August,  also aimed to cover 4,846 colonies, slums and other areas in GHMC and 360 colonies in the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB).

As many as 175 mobile vaccine vehicles were deployed across 150 areas in GHMC and 25 in the Cantonment areas. Each vehicle was operated by two vaccinating staff and a data entry operator.

As of Saturday, about 4,391 colonies were declared 100 per cent vaccinated, according to the GHMC’s data shared with ThePrint.

Earlier this year, the GHMC had also set up vaccination centres across the city to expedite the process. The drive looked to cover LPG delivery staff, auto drivers, cab drivers and vendors in vegetable markets, who the state government designated as ‘super spreaders’.

However, there were complaints of a shortage of vaccines at some centres.

As of 4 September, 1.86 crore people of Telangana’s 3.52 crore population have been vaccinated. Of this, 1.37 crore people were administered the first dose and 49,25,151 the second dose.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)

Also read: At least 1.2L died in Telangana in 2020, RTI reply finds. That’s double the average from 2016-19


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