PANAJI: The commissioner for persons with disabilities Umeshchandra Joshi has highlighted difficulties faced by persons with disabilities in getting tested and vaccinated and requested that they be given preference and not be made to wait in queues.
In a letter to health secretary Ravi Dhawan on Monday, he requested that persons with disabilities be permitted “to get themselves tested/ vaccinated without waiting in queue”.
Joshi also requested for a separate and independent Covid testing and vaccination centres for persons with disabilities.
“…in order to reduce the risk to the life of persons with disabilities you are requested to issue necessary directions to the subordinate authorities in the health department to open an independent taluka-wise dedicated Covid testing/vaccination centres and also give priority to the persons with disabilities to get themselves tested/vaccinated at the other Covid testing/vaccination centres without waiting in queue”.
He highlighted Section 3 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, on equality and non-discrimination and stated that the ministry of health and family welfare issued guidelines for protection and safety of persons with disabilities as they are more vulnerable to diseases due to their physical, sensory and cognitive limitations.
The government on Monday notified persons with disabilities as frontline/special category workers for vaccination. They will be administered the vaccine on production of a disability certificate issued by a government doctor, the notification stated.
The disability rights association of Goa (DRAG) on May 7 wrote to the commissioner for persons with disabilities to prioritise vaccination for persons with disability and even provide door-to-door vaccination for persons with disability who have nobody to take them to health centres.
President Avelino de Sa also asked that the authorities be directed to open special Covid centres, one in each district of at least 15-bed capacity, for persons with disability and their family members. He said that the facilities should have accessible toilets, parking facilities, and family members should be allowed to stay with special children.
He stated that staff at Covid hospitals and care centres are not sensitised to handle persons with disabilities.
The state government on Monday notified persons with disabilities as frontline/special category workers for vaccination. They will be administered the vaccine on production of a disability certificate issued by a government doctor, the notification stated.