regular-article-logo Thursday, 01 June 2023

Three protests in Siliguri over Covid-19 vaccine shortfall

Gautam Deb blamed the Centre and said the CM time and again has said how the Centre was failing to send enough jabs

Our Bureau Siliguri Published 24.09.21, 03:05 AM
Deb speaks to protesters at a vaccination camp in Siliguri.

Deb speaks to protesters at a vaccination camp in Siliguri. Picture by Passang Yolmo

Protests over shortage of Covid-19 vaccines erupted in at least three locations of Siliguri on Thursday.

Among those who had to face protests was Gautam Deb, chairman of the board of administrators of Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC).


Deb faced people’s ire at Buddha Bharati High School Haiderpara under ward 40. According to sources, it was earlier announced that only 200 residents would get vaccines here. However, as more people kept coming, civic and health staff on duty had to turn away many.

When Deb reached the venue at noon to check if vaccination was being held properly, angry residents surrounded him.

“We stood in queue for hours and health workers are now saying we will not get vaccinated. We can’t accept this. You have to resolve the issue or else, we will continue with our protests,” one of them was heard telling Deb.

Deb soon had the situation under control by saying that going by stocks, another 50 persons would get jabs.

“For the rest, the camp will be organised on Friday as well. This ward (40) covers a large area and we will keep on organising camps in the coming days to cover the entire population,” he said.

Another protest erupted at Pateshwari Junior High School in ward 41 with some residents alleging anomalies in the vaccination process.

“Many of us have been standing in queue since early morning with coupons. But we saw many coming later without coupons and getting jabs,” said a protester.

Civic employees calmed the crowd.

The third protest was witnessed near the principal’s chamber in North Bengal Medical College & Hospital on the outskirts of the city. Sources said some who had come to collect coupons for vaccination got angry when they were denied coupons.

“In all, 100 coupons were supposed to be distributed for the first dose of vaccination among people aged between 18 and 45. But as news spread, more people stood in queue. When they learnt no more coupons would be issued, they got angry,” said a source in NBMCH.

Deb, when asked about the protests, blamed the Centre and said chief minister Mamata Banerjee time and again has said how the Centre was failing to send enough vaccines.

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