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Vaccine registration: Users facing endless problems

  • Published at 03:33 pm January 28th, 2021
Five hospitals across Dhaka started administering coronavirus vaccines

Users online facing a variety of problems when attempting to register for Covid-19 vaccinations

It only took a few hours for users to notice that the online registration system the government launched on Wednesday was not functioning well. This initiative was made mandatory for vaccination at the first stage.

Many complained that they had made attempts to register through the website on Wednesday and Thursday, following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the new registration process. However, they were not able to.

Mohammad Al Amin, a senior reporter from a national daily newspaper based in Dhaka, told Dhaka Tribune that he had tried to register several times through using the website (www.surokkha.gov.bd) but his attempts failed every time. 

An associate professor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (BSMMU), seeking anonymity, said he did not want to take the vaccine on the first day of inoculation. However, he later changed his mind and went online to register but unfortunately he wasn’t able to register as well.

“I was surprised as the physicians and health care professionals working at the government assigned Covid-19 hospitals are considered first priority, but are later not accepted,” the physician added. 

Another frontline worker, a police sergeant from Motijheel, faced a similar situation. When asked whether he faced any problem during online registration, he said he did not get a one-time password (OTP) after entering his NID number and date of birth. As a result, he couldn’t complete the registration either.

When asked about the matter, State Minister of Information Communication and Technology, Zunayed Ahmed Palak claimed that the registration system was working well. “Those who are not able to provide an accurate NID number or date of birth might be struggling to complete registration.” he added.

“More than 1000 registrations have already been completed,” he said, adding that health care professionals and government officials had registered online and had gone on to take vaccinations. 

However, those who were given vaccines at the BSMMU Covid-19 vaccination centre yesterday registered manually. The candidates were selected by the medical university authorities from among volunteers who opted to take the vaccine on Thursday.

When asked why many journalists had failed to register by this correspondent, Palak said that the system was not made to recognize professions or identify them. As a result, journalists, who were considered frontline workers, were not receiving the priority they deserved. 

“We have collected information from the relevant authorities and are uploading their information in bulk. You will be able to apply once the information is updated,” he added. 

The Management of Information System Director of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Professor Dr Mizanur Rahman, said professionals who were getting preference in the first phase might have to wait as their NIDs would be uploaded in the system first to determine who would receive priority in vaccination. 

Health Secretary Abdul Mannan said: ”It is natural that there will be some problems during the early stages, when adapting to the new system. However, the issues will be solved in no time.”

The Surokkha mobile app for both android and IOS operating systems is yet to be released. 

When asked about the application, the minister added that the android application might be released on Thursday or Friday evening.

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