Two trustees of the SDA Diamond Hospital, who were not health workers, were also among the beneficiaries of first shots of Covid-19 vaccines in Surat on Saturday.
On the first day of the country-wide immunisation exercise at 3,006 session sites, around 100 beneficiaries each from the 3 crore priority group comprising healthcare and frontline workers were administered the vaccine.
However, Surat Deputy Health Commissioner Dr Ashish Naik said that the two trustees– Dinesh Navadia and CP Vanani — were included in the list of beneficiaries because they were part of the hospital management committee.
Navadia is also the Gujarat regional chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and the regional president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of South Gujarat. Vanani is former president of the Surat Diamond Association (SDA).
Navadia told The Sunday Express, “We are not health workers but we are running the hospital and are its trustees. So when the list of the beneficiaries were sent to the health department, our names were also added to it and it was approved by the SMC (Surat Municipal Corporation). We got a message from the SMC health department to take the vaccine, so we took it.” He added, “It was a nice experience and we were not afraid of vaccines. Even after vaccination, we have to take precautions. One should not be careless after getting a vaccine.”
Dr Ashish Naik said, “Vanani and Navadia were included in the list because they are the part of hospital management committee and trusts. There are many other private hospitals where such vaccination centre is there but I have not come across anyone in Surat who is not a health worker and yet had taken vaccine.”