The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 23-11-2022 | 03:45 am
THE RECENT measles outbreak in parts of Maharashtra has once again brought to the fore how the national immunisation programme was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.Till September, nearly 1.74 lakh children under the age of five in Maharashtra had missed their scheduled vaccination against measles, according to data from the Health department.Malegaon and Mumbai top the list of cities where the maximum number of children have missed doses of the anti-measles vaccine.Officials have also observed that districts with high cases of home births in rural areas have higher levels of vaccine hesitancy.As of November 17, Maharashtra has reported 507 cases of measles, a figure five times higher than the entire tally of the previous year, when only 92 cases were reported. Other than Mumbai, which has turned into a hotspot of measles outbreak, Malegaon Municipal Corporation (51) and Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation (37) have reported the highest number of cases. The high number of cases can be attributed to the immunisation gap as measles can be prevented by getting a vaccine.In Mumbai, till September this year, nearly 20,000 children missed their measles vaccine, as 9,549 missed the first dose and 10,345 missed the second dose. The number of measles cases in the city surged to 25 in September compared to the 10 cases recorded in the entirety of 2021.This was followed by Malegaon, where 10,386 and 6,968 children missed their first dose and second doses, respectively, till September. Under Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation, 2,980 and 2,291 children missed their scheduled first and second dose of vaccines.“The first outbreak in Bhiwandi and Malegaon started in June, when one and three outbreaks were reported in the two cities, respectively. Soon, the state organised 2,966 immunisation camps. As we ramped up vaccination, we could cover nearly 60% and 56% of the first and second dose vaccine target, respectively,” said an officer from the state Health department.However, while holding the special camps, state officials realised that in most home births, the parents opt out of vaccination. “In districts like Nandurbar, Malegaon and Gadchiroli, which have high levels of home deliveries, the vaccine hesitancy is also high. With the help of ASHA workers, we are tracing those children who have missed their vaccination,” said an officer from the Health department.
Days after Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch busted a racket that supplied private data of individuals at a price, officials said the information had not been obtained from UIDAI — which secures Aadhaar card data — but was compiled from three to four different sources.The Crime Branch also arrested two more accused in the case from Pune on Tuesday, taking the total number of arrests in the case to six, including an accused who was arrested from Telangana.In the last week of November, the Crime Branch had arrested two brothers, Rahul (28) and Nikhil Eligati (25), who had created the websites — ‘tracenow.co.in’ and ‘www.fonivotech.com’ — which allegedly provided private data of residents of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi.The data included everything from a person’s Aadhaar card number, address, date of birth and mobile numbers of relatives. This data was sold mainly to loan recovery agents at a monthly subscription cost of Rs 2,000,half-year subscription cost of Rs 12,000 or an annual subscription cost of Rs 24,000. A senior officer said that with six arrests so far, the Crime Branch has found that the accused had complied personal data of individuals from three to four places, including data leaked by telecom companies, vehicle data portals, and a popular Internet company, among others.“While initially we were looking into the possibility that the accused may have had access to the UIDAI server, it turns out that this is not the case,” said the officer.He added, “So far during the probe, we have found that the main purpose of the portal was to provide alternate details of people who took loans from loan recovery agents and had not paid back the amount. Some of them change their numbers and even addresses, which is when numbers of family members and neighbours are used by agents to track them down. Since the amounts involved are huge, they are willing to pay these portals for access to details.”An officer said that they have also identified the ‘mastermind’ of the racket, the seventh accused in the case who is currently on the run. “Once we arrest the seventh accused, we will get complete clarity on the manner in which the entire operation was carried out,” said the officer.So far, those arrested include three persons from Mumbai, two from Pune and one from Telangana.
Mumbai: The MSRTC on Wednesday cancelled 382 bus services to Karnataka in the wake of attack on vehicles in Belagavi a day earlier. “Our buses have not been attacked, but we cannot take chances as there is tension in a few areas along the border,” said a senior MSRTC official. He said MSRTC operated a total 1,156 services to Karnataka from Maharashtra, of which 382 have been suspended till further notice. Those who had booked online were given refunds for the tickets, but several commuters were left stranded and inconvenienced due to stoppage of service, sources said. Meanwhile, the All India Motor Transport Congress appealed to PM Modi to direct the state leadership in Karnataka and Maharashtra “to contain the violence.”
Mumbai: A 30-year-old man was arrested for killing his mother in their home in Vikramgad taluka of Palghar on Tuesday. Police said the accused was enaged in a fight with his father when the woman tried to intervene. The accused hit her on the head with a brick tile, police said. tnn
Mumbai: Chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday reviewed the progress of the Mumbai beautification works ahead of the G20 (Group of 20) meeting which will be held in the city later this month. Officials said that 187 beautification works will get underway on Thursday. A statement from the CM’s office said the projects will visually transform Mumbai and add to its glory. “Beautification work has been accelerated in the last four months. Decisions like concretization of roads, beautification of koliwadas, and upgradation of hospitals will add to the glory of dynamic Mumbai. The meetings of the G20 Council are being held in Maharashtra and the first meeting will be held in Mumbai,”the statement said. According to the statement, 5,000 cleanliness ambassadors should be appointed to beautify Mumbai in order to ensure a change in its appearance by giving priority to cleanliness. “Important buildings should be illuminated, important roads, squares, skywalks, flyovers should be beautified. This work should be undertaken on a mission mode,” the statement from the CM’s office stated.This year, India received the presidency of G20. Officials said that 161 meetings or events will be held in India of which 14 are to be held in Maharashtra. In the state, these meetings will be held in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur. A meeting of the G20’s Development Task is scheduled to be held in Mumbai from December 13 to 16.
MUMBAI: A few days before Govandi resident Sahrunissa Khan's daughter turned six weeks old, a team of civic officials landed at her doorstep and began convincing her to get the infant immunised with the first routine vaccine shots due after 45 days of birth. The team members were prepared to face refusal and even hostility like they had on several occasions in the past. However, they were pleasantly surprised when the mother agreed readily and arrived with the baby on schedule for the pentavalent, rotavirus and doses of oral polio vaccine. Khan (38) had lost two of her sons, five-year-old Hasnain and three-year-old Noorain, to measles in the last week of October. The deaths of her sons and another child from the family exposed the seriousness of the measles outbreak in the city. When her sons passed away, Khan had recently delivered her 10th child. As per civic records, the parents had not vaccinated the other children, including Hasnain and Noorain. But they found more willingness for vaccination this time around, the official said. The mother said, "Vaccination is necessary for a child's well-being, and we know that now". "There was promptness and inclination to get the child vaccinated this time. It is not just this family, but most parents across Govandi appear to be shedding their aversion towards vaccines," said a civic official, adding that they constantly followed up with the family to ensure the newborn didn't miss her scheduled vaccine shots. Once the mother was convinced, a community health volunteer escorted her to the health post last week, where the vaccines were administered. A volunteer also visited the house in Rafiq Nagar the following day to ensure the child was doing alright, said the official. "Previously, our volunteers were often chased away, but that stand is softening following the measles deaths," the official said. More than two months since the measles outbreak, cases have started to plateau in the worst-hit pocket and largely across the city. Vaccination of children between nine months and five years is also picking pace. Another civic official said they previously detected 20-25 suspected cases from Rafiq Nagar alone, but it has now dropped to a handful. On Wednesday, Mumbai registered 70 suspected cases of fever and rash. The daily detection of suspected cases has remained in the range of 70-77 for over a week. The number of outbreaks in the city has crossed 55 and 110 in Maharashtra. In the special vaccination drive, nearly 18,000 children out of 1.8 lakh aged between nine months and five years have been given an additional dose of the measles-rubella vaccine, while almost 800 babies out of 3,569 have been given the zero dose of the vaccine.