Online Registration for C-19 Jab in Galle Suspended
By Methmalie Dissanayake
The online registration for COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Galle was suspended due to external influences, Ceylon Today learns. The online registration initiated by Galle Four Gravets Divisional Secretariat gained immense praise for its effectiveness and there were requests to implement the system in other parts of the country as well. The eligible people were requested to register only via online. They then received a date, time and venue to come to get the vaccine through a text message.
In this manner, the public did not need to waste their time in queues. When they arrived at the vaccination centre, their text messages were checked by army officers deployed at centres and allowed to get the vaccine. However, the Divisional Secretariat on Thursday (3) informed the public that the online registration method will not be in effect anymore and the vaccine rollout will be carried out by Galle Urban Council and respective health officials in the area.
“We had to stop the programme because it seemed we could not carry it out anymore with transparency,” Divisional Secretary of Galle Four Gravets, Himali Ratnaweera, when contacted by Ceylon Today, said. “On Wednesday (2), the vaccination was scheduled for Madapathala Grama Niladhari Division. We gave vaccines to more than 3,000 people that day. When the people who live in the area received the vaccine in the evening, we saw that a large group with about 500 people was outside the vaccination centre, demanding the vaccine for them. They were not the residents of the Grama Niladhari Division,” she said.
When she queried whether there were Madapathala residents among the crowd, few people raised hands and they were allowed to enter the vaccination centre’s premises. However, the other people in the group who came from elsewhere started to behave unruly, trying to break the gates of the centre. “Since we could not control them, I came back from there. Because of these kinds of disputes, we decided not to be involved in the programme anymore.
There were some other instances where groups had disputes with my officials. Some provincial politicians also want to interfere with the programme. My officers who worked tirelessly for this are highly frustrated with this. No point for us to continue the programme if we do not have control over it,” she said.
Ratnaweera said that she informed their decision to both Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana and the Galle Government Agent and they requested not to stop the programme. However, Galle Mayor Priyantha Sahabandu denied that a dispute erupted in the vaccination centre. “A larger number of people were vaccinated on that day.
After all the registered persons received the vaccination, a group of other people also requested for the vaccines which remained at the centre. They had come from elsewhere. This happened at some other centres as well.
It is a normal thing. But no dispute occurred. Such persons were given the vaccine too,” he said. If there was any problem why didn’t the people complain about it? If they do not have any problem with that, why do some people try to create unnecessary problems?, he queried. The Mayor refused to interfere in the vaccination rollout in the area.