As the registration of all citizens above 18 years of age for vaccination against COVID-19 started on the CoWIN portal at 4 pm on Wednesday, many people took to social media to complain about the technical problems they faced trying to register for the third phase of the inoculation drive scheduled to begin from May 1.
Due to the heavy rush, server crash was reported and many were unable to enter the site and register. Authorities informed that the site was restored after some time.
However, union health ministry, clarified that the media reports that the server has crashed "are incorrect and are without any basis".
“The server supporting the CoWin digital portal continues to work smoothly at its highest efficiency. People are registering on the platform, mostly of age-group 18-44. It witnessed more than 80 lakh people registered themselves on the portal, with 3 hours from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm," it said.
Sharing some of the statistics appertaining to the first three hours (4-7 pm), the ministry said that the portal 383 million API hits, initially as high as 2.7 million hits per minute and a total of 1.45 crore SMSs have been successfully delivered.
"These statistics indicate that far from crashing or performing slowly, the system is performing without any glitches. It is recording 55,000 hits per second and is completely stable. Detailed statistics relating to registration, vaccinations, can be seen on dashboard.cowin.gov.in," the ministry said in its statement.
As the registration opened up at 4 pm, some people on social media complained that the portal was not responding, while others complained that it had crashed.
At 4.35 pm, a tweet from the verified Twitter handle of the Aarogya Setu mobile application said the CoWIN portal is working and that there was a minor glitch at 4 pm, which was fixed.
"Cowin portal is working. There was a minor glitch at 4 pm that was fixed. 18-plus can register," it said.
At 4.54 pm, a tweet from the same handle stated, "Vaccination appointments for 18-plus will be possible once the state governments and private vaccination centres schedule vaccination sessions. Registration is happening on cowin.gov.in."
Potential beneficiaries can register directly on CoWIN portal cowin.gov.in or through the Aarogya Setu app.
The CoWIN software is a robust, dependable and agile technology. It offers anytime and anywhere registration for COVID-19 vaccination. The capacity of the servers and other parameters have been ramped up to match the unprecedented scale of immunisation so that the COWIN system provide citizen-centric services, the statement said.
Inclusivity, speed and scalability have been kept in mind while designing the unique digital platform with all components being portable, synchronous without excessive and unnecessary dependencies, it stated.
After registration, taking an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine jab would be mandatory for those aged between 18 and 44 years as walk-ins will not be allowed initially, officials had said.
Those above 45 years of age can still avail the facility of on-site registration to get vaccinated, they had said.
The inoculation process and the documents to be provided to get the jab remain the same.
"Registration of citizens in 18-44 age group will start with only online registration on CoWIN from April 28 onwards," the health ministry had said.
Also, from May 1, the types of anti-coronavirus vaccines and their prices will be displayed on the CoWIN portal for citizens to make an informed choice at the time of booking an appointment at a private vaccination centre.
While those aged 18 to 44 years will be eligible to receive vaccination on payment from any of the private COVID vaccination centres (CVCs), they shall also be eligible to receive a jab from a government CVC in a state or a union territory that decides to lower the minimum cut-off age for eligibility.
As provided in the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy document, all priority groups such as healthcare workers, frontline workers and citizens aged 45 years and above shall continue to be eligible for vaccination for free from government CVCs and on payment from private CVCS. PTI