Rahul Gandhi writes to Modi over pace of COVID vaccine production and inoculation
New Delhi/UNI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to accelerate the Corona vaccine production and inoculation with the second wave of the pandemic hitting hard in India.
The ongoing vaccination drive, as per the former Congress President, was poorly implemented, as only one per cent of the India’s population have been inoculated so far.
"This is unfortunate considering our scientific community and vaccine suppliers worked overtime to develop a solution but their efforts are undermined by the Centre 's poor implementation and oversight," he wrote in the letter made public on Friday.
Rahul Gandhi said with the current pace of vaccination, it will take many years to inoculate 75 per cent of the population, which can gravely affect the economy.
India on Friday registered nearly 1.30 lakh fresh cases and 780 more deaths. Over nine crore people have been vaccinated in the ongoing drive that began in the mid of January.
The Centre, in the ongoing third phase of the vaccination drive, has allowed the vaccines for all people above 45 years of age, after inoculating healthcare and frontline workers and senior citizens in the earlier phases.
As several states like Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh flagged their shortage in the supply, the Congress MP questioned the need for the export of vaccines.
"While our nation is facing vaccine starvation, more than six crore doses of vaccines have been exported," he stated.
He alleged that the central government is indulging in the centralisation of power and propaganda, as public health is a state subject, yet the States have been bypassed right from vaccine procurement to registration.
As per the rules, the Centre will supply vaccines to the States, while the eligible people need to register with the central government operated online portal for vaccination.
Gandhi suggested that the vaccine export should be immediately halted and Rs 35,000 crore allocated for vaccines by the Centre in the Union Budget be doubled.
He asked for opening vaccines for all adults and giving states more say in the vaccination programme.
Gandhi also demanded direct income support for the vulnerable section of people being affected by the second wave of Covid-19.