As cases surge, Congress asks government to prepare a strategy

Vaccinate everyone in the next 12 months, it says

With the number of COVID-19 infections crossing the 25,000-mark in the past 24 hours, the Congress on Sunday questioned the pace of vaccination and asked the government to prepare a strategy to complete the drive within 12 months.

At a press conference at the party headquarters, general secretary Shaktisinh Gohil said experts have been talking about another wave of COVID-19 hitting India soon.

Of the over 135 crore people, Mr. Gohil said only 1.5% have got vaccines including those who have got just the first dose.

“By this rate 70% people will get vaccinated in 12.6 years. For 100% vaccination, it will take 18 years. We have vaccines, enough of it is there. Why is the government not giving it?” he asked and accused the government of being busy in elections and not caring for the people.

“What is the government’s plan to complete nationwide vaccination within 12 months and not 13, 16 or 18 years,” he asked.

The Congress urged the Union government to decentralise the drive and provide adequate vaccines to the States and cited Chhattisgarh as one whose demand of more Covishield doses needs to be met by the Centre.

The Congress leader claimed that his “private conversations” with pharmaceutical companies engaged in vaccine manufacturing “revealed that there are sufficient doses for citizens and if not utilised soon, they may get spoilt”.

Mr. Gohil also cited a recent observation of the Delhi High Court that questioned the government’s policy of exporting vaccines to countries that were not so friendly.

On Sunday, according to the Union Health Ministry data, India recorded 25,320 infections, the highest daily rise in 84 days, taking the case tally to 1,13,59,048.

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