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E-pass facility for travel in Mumbai suburban trains launched

Citizens can obtain travel passes from http://epassmsdma.mahait.org, a website developed by the state government, the release said.

August 12, 2021 / 07:42 PM IST
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Representative Image

The Maharashtra government on Thursday launched an online facility to enable citizens who have completed 14 days after second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to obtain passes to travel in suburban trains in Mumbai from August 15.

A Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) release said, "A 'Universal Travel Pass' system has been developed to make it possible for citizens to obtain an e-pass conveniently and smoothly."

Citizens can obtain travel passes from http://epassmsdma.mahait.org, a website developed by the state government, the release said.

On Sunday, the state government had announced that fully vaccinated people can board suburban trains, considered Mumbai's lifeline, from August 15 provided they have completed 14 days after the second dose of the vaccine, a step that marks a major relaxation in coronavirus curbs.

On Wednesday, the civic body had started an offline COVID-19 vaccination certificate verification process for issuing passes to fully inoculated people to enable them to board local trains.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The BMC has set up 358 help desks at 53 suburban stations falling under its jurisdiction to issue offline passes.

The BMC release said the Relief and Rehabilitation Department of the Maharashtra government has already developed a weblink to provide e-pass to employees and citizens working in essential services.

"Using the same weblink, e-passes will now be available to common citizens, those who are fully vaccinated and have completed 14 days after the second dose for Mumbai suburban railway travel," the BMC said.

According to the release, the e-pass should be saved on mobile phone and after showing it at the ticket counter at suburban stations, citizens will get monthly travel pass directly from the Railways.

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Offline verification will not be required at railway stations if commuters have obtained universal travel e-pass, the BMC clarified.

"No separate human interaction will be required for this online verification process," it said.

The release said citizens who apply for an e-pass without completing 14 days after the second dose of vaccine will receive it only after the stipulated two-week period.

According to the civic body, for obtaining the universal travel e-pass, eligible citizens will have to enter their mobile number that was used for vaccination.

Immediately after that, an OTP (One Time Password) will be received on the phone via an SMS. After entering this OTP, details like beneficiary name, mobile number and reference number, among others, will appear automatically, according to the release.

"Thereafter they will have to click on the 'Generate Pass' option. On clicking, the system will automatically show the details of the applicant, including date of first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine and other relevant information," the release said.

It further said the applicant will have to upload his/her photograph in the 'Self Image' option.

"After completion of this processes, a message will appear stating that applicant will receive a link in 48 hours via an SMS. Once the link is received, the e-pass should be accessed and saved in the mobile gallery," the release said.

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PTI
first published: Aug 12, 2021 07:32 pm
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