Govt must accelerate Covid vaccination drive: Congress
The party said that at the current speed of vaccination, it will take twelve and a half years to vaccinate just 70 per cent population of the country
The Congress on Sunday expressed concern over the recent spike in coronavirus cases and asked the government to accelerate the vaccination drive across the country. The party demanded to know if the government had a roadmap to complete the vaccination in 12 months.
Party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said that at the current rate, it will take twelve and a half years to vaccinate just 70 per cent population of the country of 1.3 billion people.
"The government is trying to hide facts by giving a maze of vaccination figures. If you look at the government's claim of total vaccinations till now, it is 2,82,18,457. If you look at the 11 days of March, it is 95,90,594. Of the over 135 crore people in the country, only 1.5 per cent have got vaccines, including those who have got just the first dose," Gohil said.
Only 47.29 lakh have got both doses of vaccines which means only 0.35 vaccination has been done, he said.
"By this rate 70 per cent people will get vaccinated in 12.6 years. For 100 per cent vaccination, it will take 18 years. We have vaccines, enough of it is there. Why is the government not giving it?" he said and accused the government of being busy in elections and not caring for the people.
Citing Chhattisgarh's demand for more Covishield vaccine doses, the party also asked the government to decentralise the vaccination drive and provide adequate vaccines to the states.
India on Sunday recorded 25,320 COVID-19 infections, the highest daily rise in 84 days, taking the case tally to 1,13,59,048, according to Union health ministry data. Also, the death toll increased to 1,58,607 with 161 new fatalities, the highest in 44 days.
Gohil said that according to experts, the country might be facing another wave of COVID-19.
Gohil demanded to know that whether with experts and scientists suggesting the emergence of various coronavirus mutants, the Narendra Modi government had scaled up genome sequencing to identify newer variants.
"What is the government's plan to complete nationwide vaccination within 12 months and not 13, 16 or 18 years," he asked.
Gohil also demanded that journalists, delivery persons, and government servants who were engaged in essential services be considered a priority group for vaccination. He also demanded decentralisation of the vaccination programme and scaling it up on priority.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated and vaccination of the frontline workers started from February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 for those who are above 60 years and for people aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield are the two vaccines that are being administered in the country. According to the health ministry, over 2.91 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country.
(With Inputs from PTI)
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