India’s Vaccination drive day 2: Political Drama

Political parties across the country reacted to this vaccine drive with different logic and intentions.

First COVID-19 vaccine shots in India were given on Saturday to nearly two lakh frontline healthcare and sanitary workers as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the inoculation drive against Corona virus.

In Maharashtra, Vaccination drive halted as many districts faced technical glitches in the CoWIN app that resulted in communication lags. “The server went slow leading to difficulties in uploading the data at many centres. In Dhule district, all four centres faced the problem. We have now directed the vaccination teams to register the details offline and upload them subsequently. We had to use hard copies of data on beneficiaries,” said Dr PD Gandal, deputy director, health services, Nashik division.

Political parties across the country reacted to this vaccine drive with different logic and intentions. Senior Congress leader and former UP legislator Pradeep Mathur said on Sunday, “It would have been better had Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented an example like that of Joe Biden, the president-elect of the US, by getting himself vaccinated. By taking the COVID-19 vaccine shot, he would have injected confidence among people of the country. People are still feeling hesitant in getting themselves vaccinated”. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that though the government claims it will cover three crore people in the first round of the vaccination drive, it is yet to clarify if the remaining population of India will get a vaccine and whether they will get it for free. "Is the government not aware that 81.35 crore people are eligible for subsidised ration under the Food Security Act? Will the SC, ST, BC, OBC, BPL, APL, the poor and the underprivileged get the vaccine for free or not? If yes, what is the roll-out plan and by when will the government ensure free vaccination," he asked.

In West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee expressed her dissatisfaction over the "inadequate number of Covid-19 vaccines" supplied to West Bengal, Ms. Banerjee on Saturday said her government "strongly feels" that all people of the state should be inoculated free of cost. The chief minister also said that her government was ready to bear the financial burden for providing the doses free of charge in the state, if need be. According to a state government official, Bengal was supposed to receive over 10 lakh vaccines in the first phase, but have got 6.89 lakh doses so far. The CM, while telephonically addressing all doctors, nurses, hospital support staff, students -- who were attending a virtual meet from the 207 centres where Saturday's inoculation process started -- said she "strongly felt that all people of West Bengal should get vaccines free of cost as early as possible", an official statement said.

The BJP on Sunday alleged that several TMC leaders in West Bengal were administered COVID-19 vaccines meant for healthcare personnel and frontline workers, resulting in a shortfall of doses in the state. Several TMC leaders, including two MLAs, were among the people who received the COVID-19 vaccine in Purba Bardhaman district on Saturday, the opening day of the nationwide vaccination programme. Many healthcare workers in the state had alleged that they could not get the jab though they were asked to come for it.

"The vaccines sent by the central government are for healthcare staffers, police personnel and other frontline workers who are serving the society in the pandemic situation. Nearly 3.5 crore vials were dispatched by the Centre across the country. These doses are not meant for political leaders” said BJP leader Dilip Ghosh in answering to TMC’s allegation of shortfall of vaccines.

India Scanner News Network

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