Ludhiana: A day after launch of the coronavirus vaccination programme, city businessmen are demanding that in addition to the frontline workers, factory workers be administered the shot of vaccine.
According to businessmen, they are ready to organise special camps in industrial areas and they are also demanding that the government should ensure that the dose is given free to the workers. Businessmen are of the view that factory workers face huge risks of contracting coronavirus and when infected, a worker can prove to be a spreader because of the high number of persons he comes in contact with, therefore there is urgent need of vaccinating them first.
Giving more information, Narinder Bhamra, president of the Fasteners Manufacturers Association of India, said, “We congratulate the Centre and state government for the launch of the vaccination programme in Punjab and the entire business community is wishing that this deadly pandemic is uprooted from our country and state at the earliest. But at the same time there is a dire need for giving vaccination shots to the most vulnerable groups like factory workers who cannot afford the costly treatment for coronavirus and also are at high risk of spreading the virus to others due to their lifestyle like living in groups in ‘vehras’ and other factors. The state government should announce a special programme for covering factory workers at the earliest and also make sure that the vaccine shot is given free of cost to them. Also, instead of getting their vaccination done at hospitals, which can be very time consuming and not all workers will get covered, special camps should be organised in industrial areas and factories just like the coronavirus testing camps, which were of great success.”
According to Jagbir Singh Sokhi, president of the Sewing Machine Development Club, “Like frontline workers and senior citizens, factory workers and migrant labourers too need to be given preference in the coronavirus vaccine dose. We have been very fortunate that the till now no case of mass contraction of coronavirus among industrial workers surfaced in the city, but we cannot take chances of not getting them vaccinated timely. We, therefore, request the state government and district administration to chalk out a programme for timely vaccination of our workers as Ludhiana has the biggest number of workers and migrants in the state and it will take months to cover majority of them even if the program has to start today.”
Sokhi added that, “The best solution of vaccinating factory workers will be by organising special camps and mobile vans in the industrial areas by way of which the workers can be vaccinated in large numbers daily. Moreover, if their vaccination is carried out in hospitals, it will be very difficult to keep a proper check on whether or not all from a factory have been vaccinated or not. Also, there will be several challenges like their transportation and compliance with the timings fixed by the medical team.”