19:51 GMT19 April 2021
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    On 1 March, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the second phase of the vaccination drive against coronavirus in the country. After getting vaccinated himself at Delhi's premier AIIMS hospital, the PM urged senior citizens, aged above 60, to register themselves and get vaccinated at their earliest convenience.

    The Indian government has launched a portal named "CoWin" where eligible people can register to get vaccinated at their nearest centres. As per the number of registrations revealed by the government's citizen engagement platform MyGovIndia, over a million people had already scheduled their vaccination appointments on 1 March.

    Indian industrialist Harsh Goenka on Tuesday took to Twitter to draw attention to the large crowds of people congregating at vaccination centres – potentially making the drive more dangerous.

    "Sure way to get COVID before you get vaccinated!", Goenka captioned a video he tweeted showing a large number of people huddling and pushing each other at a Mumbai-based vaccination centre.

    ​Netizens assessing the dangerous crowd situation at vaccination centres have expressed fears that these places could end up becoming "super spreaders" of the novel virus. Indians are urging the government and hospitals to ensure safety measures are in place, especially social distancing, because the majority people reaching out to get vaccinated are above the sensitive age of 60.

    ​Others are also sharing experiences of walking into congested vaccination centres.

    ​The government is allowing people to pre-book their appointments for vaccination via its coronavirus-detecting app Aarogya Setu.

    Over the last two days, several public figures, including politicians and athletes, have taken the India-developed vaccine "Covaxin".

    ​Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech and the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). It is yet to submit phase-three trial data to the drug regulator for final approval.

    The Indian drug regulator formally approved the emergency use of two coronavirus vaccines, Covaxin and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield, in January as the Modi government planned to inoculate approximately 300 million people by end of this year.






    Sputnik News, Sputnik Radio, Sputnik, Sputnik, Sputnik, Sputnik, netizens, coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccinations, vaccination, prime minister, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Narendra Modi, Indians, India
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