In Hyderabad, no jabs for homeless without photo ID cards

Many living on the streets are most vulnerable to COVID infection, say NGOs

The homeless, living on streets of Hyderabad, and who do not have a photo ID card did not receive COVID-19 vaccine yet, said members of NGOs working for welfare of such homeless people.

Members of Aman Vedika, a NGO, said that while those with Aadhaar card or other ID card were administered the vaccine, those who do not have an identity card were not given the jab.

“We request Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to provide COVID-19 vaccine to people who do not have an identity card too,” requested R. Indiramma, project coordinator at the NGO.

There are thousands of people without homes in Hyderabad. While some of them live at government shelter homes, some live on the streets. It was learnt that those staying at government shelter homes received the vaccine.

“Hundreds of people without homes live on streets of Hyderabad. The mobile vaccination vans can be used to give the jab. Government can take support of the NGOs which are working for people without homeless,” said Syed Feroz from Nirashraya Shramika Sangathan.

The NGO runs a programme — Street Medicine — where people living on the roadside are checked for health issues. A health coordinator of the programme, K Paul Isaac, said that COVID-19 tests were conducted on people who had symptoms of the infectious disease, those who were set to get the vaccine, and at random too. “Around three people tested positive for coronavirus in the second wave,” Mr. Paul said.

Ministry’s SOP

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in May first week has issued ‘SOPs on COVID-19 Vaccination of Persons without prescribed Identity Cards through CoWIN’.

Some of the people who fall in the group listed in the SOP document were inmates in Mental Health Institutions, roadside beggars, people residing in rehabilitation centres or camps, citizens in old age homes, and others, age 18 years or more, and do not have any of the prescribed photo ID cards. The SOP lists out who have to identify people in this category, who should vaccinate them, and other details.

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