Three garment factories in Tirupur – India’s biggest knitted garment manufacturing hub– have been accused of buying the Covid vaccine illegally from Government officials.
Though the concerned officers have denied the allegation, the matter is under investigation.
Tirupur City Municipal Corporation officials allegedly diverted 830 doses of Covid vaccines while these were initially allotted to four urban primary health centres (UPHCs).
As per media reports, the officials allegedly sent the doses to a private hospital, which helped vaccinate workers of three garment units. As per norms, apparel factories in Tamil Nadu are required to arrange for vaccination through private hospitals.
K. Jegadeesh Kumar, Deputy Director, Health Services has said that the department was not aware of Corporation officials diverting the vaccines meant for PHCs. He said, “We have sought an explanation from the Corporation on the issue.”
As per a media report, District Collector K. Vijaya Karthikeyan had directed the Health Department to launch an inquiry into the issue. He said that, based on the inquiry report, appropriate action will be taken against the concerned persons.
On the other hand, health department and the corporation have denied the accusation.
Health officers said that it was the corporation’s prerogative on who they decide to vaccinate first. Officials said garment factories were once COVID-19 clusters. It is a high-risk sector and therefore their employees must be vaccinated on priority.