A large number of vaccine recipients showed up at their local centres on Saturday as the mass inoculation campaign kicked off across the country.
However, the effectiveness of the program came into question in several districts as reports of disregard for social distancing and hygiene rules in the queues for the Covid-19 jabs surfaced on the first day.
Experts warn that the chances of developing Covid-19 are higher in crowded places where people spend long periods of time in close quarters. In these conditions, the virus tends to spread more quickly by respiratory droplets or aerosols.
In Khulna, vaccination activities started from 9am at a total of 307 centres in the city and across the district.
Despite the rain, a huge rush of vaccine recipients crowded these centres where a minimum level of physical distancing was not observed.
Allegations of non-compliance with hygiene rules have been received at vaccination centres in different areas of the city including wards 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27.
Vaccine recipient Abdul Gaffar said: “I’ve been here at the East Baniakhamar Janakalyan Samiti vaccination centre since morning. But, the health volunteers are not interested in ensuring the proper health and hygiene rules. As a result, the queue for the shot has remained packed.”
Jihadur Rahman, a health volunteer working at the vaccine centre, said: “Despite the rain, a large number of people were coming to the centre to get vaccinated. As a result, we have not been able to ensure physical distancing because we just don’t have enough manpower.”
Speaking on the issue, Ward 18 Councillor Hafizur Rahman said: “We had earlier planned to conduct the vaccination program in open ground but because of the rain we had to move inside a building which compromised the health guidelines.
Meanwhile, a similar situation prevailed in Chittagong, Gazipur, and Comilla as hundreds of men and women were seen jostling in lines, waiting to get jabbed since morning in photos and videos sent by our correspondents.