“Spreading Panic”: Health Minister After Maharashtra Vaccine Stocks SOS

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Harsh Vardhan mentioned he had seen “irresponsible statements” made by state governments (File)

New Delhi:

After Maharashtra’s SOS on vaccines, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan right now slammed what he known as “deplorable attempts by some state governments to distract attention from their failures and spread panic among the people”. The “lackadaisical attitude” of the Maharashtra authorities had singularly slowed down the complete nation’s efforts to battle the virus, he mentioned in a livid assertion.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope mentioned this morning that the state could run out of Covid vaccines in three days and that he had requested the centre to ship extra shares soonest, with cities like Mumbai pressured to close down vaccination centres or flip away folks.

Harsha Vardhan known as them “irresponsible statements” that had the potential to “mislead the public and spread panic”.

Stating that he wished to set the report straight, he wrote: “I am constrained to speak out now because my silence should not be misconstrued for weakness. Playing politics is easy, but improving governance and health infrastructure is the real test.”

Maharashtra’s statements on vaccine scarcity had been “nothing but an attempt to divert attention from the Maharashtra government’s repeated failures to control the spread of pandemic”, Harsh Vardhan mentioned, accusing the state’s management of “happily sleeping at the wheels”.

“The inability of Maharashtra government to act responsibly is beyond comprehension. To spread panic among the people is to compound the folly further,” he added, dismissing discuss of vaccine scarcity as “baseless”.

The Union Health Minister additionally tore into calls for by “a section of political leaders” to open up vaccinations to all adults or drastically decrease the age bar, mentioning that vaccinations up to now had not been optimum.

The authorities had “no option” however to prioritise “so long as the supply of vaccines remains limited”, mentioned Harsh Vardhan.

“…The primary aim of vaccination is to reduce mortality among the most vulnerable people, and enable the society to beat the pandemic. Accordingly, the world’s largest vaccination drive was launched in India with the first recipients being our healthcare personnel and front-line workers. Once this had progressed to a certain level, vaccination was opened up to further categories and is currently open to everyone above the age of 45 years,” he mentioned.

“When states ask to open up vaccine supplies to everyone over 18, we must presume that they have done saturation coverage of healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens. But the facts are altogether different.”

The Health Minister listed how Maharashtra, Delhi and Punjab had fallen quick within the vaccination of focused teams up to now.

“Doesn’t it seem evident that these states are trying to divert attention from their poor vaccination efforts by just continuously shifting the goal-posts? Politicizing such a public health issue is a damning indictment of certain political leaders who should know better,” mentioned Harsh Vardhan.

The lack of effort by Maharashtra “has come to haunt us all”, he mentioned, including: “It is shocking to see how the state Government is putting Maharashtrians in danger by letting people escape institutional quarantine mandate for the sake of their personal Vasuli.”

The Health Minister additionally attacked the Chhattisgarh Congress authorities, saying it had refused to make use of Covaxin, and, by its actions, “had the dubious distinction of being perhaps the only government in the word to have incited vaccine hesitancy.”

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