NEW DELHI: Union well being minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday lashed out at Maharashtra and another state governments for his or her remarks concerning the Covid vaccination drive.
In a strongly-worded assertion, Vardhan mentioned such “irresponsible statements” are “deplorable makes an attempt” by these states to distract consideration from their very own failures.
He additionally accused them of spreading panic among the many individuals.
“In current days, I’ve seen with rising dismay numerous irresponsible statements from some State authorities functionaries within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Vardhan mentioned.
The well being minister mentioned he’s compelled to set the “document straight” since such statements have the potential to mislead the general public and unfold panic.
“Most regarding of all are the statements being made by a piece of political leaders asking to open up vaccination to everybody above the age of 18, or to drastically decrease the minimal age standards for vaccination eligibility,” he mentioned.
He was referring to calls for by each Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray that the Centre ought to decrease the age restrict for vaccinations.
Vardhan mentioned the vaccination technique has been drawn up after in depth deliberations and consultations in partnership with all state governments.
He harassed that the first intention of vaccination is to cut back mortality among the many most susceptible individuals and allow the society to beat the pandemic.
“Accordingly, the world’s largest vaccination drive was launched in India with the primary recipients being our healthcare personnel and frontline staff. Once this had progressed to a sure degree, vaccination was opened as much as additional classes and is presently open to everybody above the age of 45 years,” he mentioned, including that the vaccinations are freed from value at authorities services.
He mentioned that because the provide of vaccines stays restricted, the federal government has no possibility however to prioritise whom to inoculate.
Presenting some details, Vardhan singled out Maharashtra and mentioned it’s but to even inoculate all healthcare and frontline staff within the state.
“When states ask to open up vaccine provides to everybody over 18, we should presume that they’ve executed saturation protection of healthcare staff, frontline staff and senior residents.
“Maharashtra has vaccinated simply solely 86% of well being staff with first dose. The equal numbers for Delhi and Punjab are 72% and 64%. On the opposite hand, 10 Indian states/UTs have executed greater than 90%.
Maharashtra has vaccinated simply 41% of healthcare staff with second dose. Equivalent numbers for Delhi and Punjab are 41% and 27%. There are 12 Indian states/UTs which have executed greater than 60%,” he mentioned.
He mentioned the figures point out that political leaders within the state are politicising the problem.
“Doesn’t it appear evident that these states try to divert consideration from their poor vaccination efforts by simply repeatedly shifting the goal-posts? Politicising such a public well being problem is a damning indictment of sure political leaders who ought to know higher,” he mentioned.
He additionally responded strongly to statements by Maharashtra leaders highlighting the scarcity of Covid vaccines within the state, calling the allegations “totally baseless”.
“This is nothing however an try to divert consideration from Maharashtra authorities’s repeated failures to regulate the unfold of pandemic. The incapability of Maharashtra authorities to behave responsibly is past comprehension,” Vardhan mentioned.
Earlier, Maharashtra well being minister Rajesh Tope had mentioned the state is in brief provide of vaccines, including its shares will recover from in simply three days.
Vardhan, in his assertion, continued his tirade towards Maharashtra and mentioned the “lackadaisical angle” of the state authorities has singularly slowed down your complete nation’s efforts towards Covid.
“Throughout the final 12 months, because the well being minister of India, I’ve been a witness to the misgovernance and utter informal method of Maharashtra authorities in battling the virus,” he mentioned.
He mentioned that the Centre has recurrently counselled the Maharashtra authorities, made them obtainable all sources and despatched central groups for assist.
“However, the dearth of efforts of the a part of the state authorities is now clearly seen and are available to hang-out us all,” he mentioned.
Criticising the state’s dealing with of the pandemic, Vardhan mentioned that testing has not been on top of things and call tracing efforts “depart quite a bit to be desired”.
He additional accused the MVA authorities of sleeping fortunately on the wheel whereas placing the lives of Maharashtrians at risk.
“It is stunning to see how the state authorities is placing Maharashtrians at risk by letting individuals escape institutional quarantine mandate for the sake of their private Vasuli (extortion). Overall, because the state has lurched from one disaster to a different, it appears as if the state management is fortunately sleeping on the wheels.”
He additionally lashed out on the Congress authorities in Chhattisgarh, which can be witnessing a steep surge in infections.
“We have seen common feedback by leaders from Chhattisgarh which might be meant to unfold misinformation and panic on vaccination. I want to humbly state that it might be higher if the state authorities focusses its energies on ramping up their well being infrastructure fairly than on petty politicking,” he mentioned.
Highlighting the disproportionately larger variety of deaths within the state, Vardhan mentioned their testing stays closely depending on fast antigen exams “which isn’t a clever technique”.
He additionally known as out the Chhattisgarh authorities for refusing permission to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin regardless of it getting regulatory nod.
“Not solely this, by its actions, the leaders of the state authorities have the doubtful distinction of being maybe the one authorities within the phrase to have incited vaccine hesitancy,” he mentioned.
Vardhan recognized a number of different states the place Covid-related efforts have to be boosted.
“Quality of testing wants to enhance in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat. In Punjab, excessive case fatality price must be improved by early identification of these needing hospitalization. Mask-wearing and social distancing compliance are slack in numerous states. There is quite a bit that must be executed, and we should do all of it with pace and at scale,” he mentioned.
Urging states to keep away from enjoying politics amid pandemic, he mentioned that India should work collectively to defeat the pandemic.
“Let us not squander the positive aspects we have now made and deal with our solemn public responsibility,” he concluded.