District health officials in Alipurduar district have decided to include the names of doctors and all others associated with healthcare in tea estates of the district on the list of the frontline beneficiaries of Covid vaccine.
The move follows an instruction from the state government to prepare such lists in each district where it has been decided that people associated with healthcare would be the first to be provided with the vaccine in due course as they are frontline workers.
Girish Chandra Bera, the chief medical officer of health of Alipurduar, said that along with doctors and other health staff posted in government hospitals and private nursing homes of the district, they have also decided to include those who are working at the hospitals and health centres at the tea gardens.
“The infrastructure is limited in these hospitals and dispensaries and yet they (the healthcare personnel) have been consistently working during this pandemic for the tea population. In fact, it is because of these people that the spread of the pandemic has been successfully controlled in the tea gardens. They deserve to be in the first list of beneficiaries. We will soon send the list to Calcutta,” he said.
In Alipurduar, there are 60 tea gardens out of which seven are lying closed.
Tea trade union leaders have also lauded the decision made by the health department.
“In most tea gardens, the health facility that the tea companies are supposed to provide to the workers and their families are in a shambles now. We have time and again raised questions on the issue. But despite such odds, there are a number of doctors, nurses and paramedics who have put their best efforts to help Covid-19 patients and others for months now. It is good
that the health department has made this decision (to include them on the first list of those eligible for the vaccine),” said a senior trade union leader in Birpara.