Coal India Limited, one of the country’s largest companies, has sought the help of the Central Government to expedite the vaccination after about 400 of its employees died of coronavirus.
The company has asked the government for about one million doses of the vaccine, from which the employees and their families will be vaccinated. So far, about 64,000 employees have been vaccinated in Coal India, with 2.59 lakh employees. Thirty-five thousand families have also been vaccinated.
According to Coal India, around 6,000 of its employees have been infected with Corona so far, of which 1,000 are still undergoing treatment. According to the company, most of the employees who died of corona infection died during the second wave. Its largest unit South Eastern Coalfields Limited accounted for almost one-third of the deaths.
The company has also promised Rs 15 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and a job to one of the relatives.
Seventy per cent of the electricity in India is made from coal. Hence, the employees of Coal India continued to work under essential services even during the lockdown and the pandemic.
According to the company, it strictly followed the rules of prevention from Covid-19. The employees were made to wear masks, kept clean, and their equipment sanitised regularly. Despite these precautions, thousands of employees of the company got infected.
To avoid further losses, the company has decided to vaccinate the employees and their families expeditiously and has sought doses from the government for this. Trade unions also made similar demands. Sudhir Ghurde, general secretary at Akhil Bharatiya Khadan Mazdoor Sangh, one of the leading unions, said, “The company should be looking at mass vaccination programs that cover all employees and their family members so that the damage can be arrested,”
Vaccination remains slow across the country.
Along with Coal India, the vaccination campaign is going on at a slow pace, and only about 20-25 lakh doses are being administered daily. The country has the capacity to administer many more doses. Still, the campaign has not gained momentum due to the lack of doses and the controversial vaccination policy of the central government. Now Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken steps to accelerate the campaign by changing this policy.
23,90,58,360 doses have been administered in the country till Tuesday under the Corona Vaccination Campaign, which started on January 16. 19,21,37,133 people have received at least one dose and 4,69,21,227 people have received both. On Tuesday, 27,76,096 doses were administered.