Congress expresses concern over Centre's vaccination strategy, says pricing policy is opaque, discriminatory
New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee has expressed its "deep concern" over BJP-led government's vaccination strategy, saying that vaccine supplies are grossly insufficient and the "pricing policy is opaque and discriminatory". Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala briefed reporters about the CWC meeting held on Monday. The CWC adopted two resolutions. "The Congress Working Committee is deeply concerned about the Modi government's vaccination strategy. Vaccine supplies are grossly insufficient, yet the government denies the hard facts.
The pricing policy is opaque and discriminatory. And contrary to economic and all other logic, the government has passed on the financial responsibility for vaccinating the 18-44 year population to the State governments, which are already facing severe financial stress," CWC resolution said. It said the mandatory online registration without a walk-in option will exclude -- and may have already excluded --millions of citizens, particularly those in rural areas and those belonging to the weaker sections of society. The CWC said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to the Prime Minister after the last meeting of the CWC on April 17, 2021 giving five specific suggestions to increase vaccine supplies and coverage. "However, instead of taking his suggestions in the constructive spirit in which they were offered, the Prime Minister instructed the Union Health Minister to reply to Dr. Manmohan Singh in a most undignified manner," it said.
The party said that it has been notice for the past about a month that the infection has traveled massively into rural areas with zero access to RT PCR testing, medicines, oxygen or hospitalization resulting into a large number of painful deaths. "Even across the country, the inhumane crisis of non-availability of oxygen, hospital beds, Remdesivir - Ivermectin - Tocilizumab injections and vaccines reflects the criminal failure of the central government. This has happened despite India producing sufficient quantity of Oxygen and Remdesivir injections as also the vaccines. The CWC noted with concern that the data on Covid deaths is horribly wrong and afflicted by massive non-reporting of deaths. The solution lies in facing the challenge and stopping the casualties from Covid-19 and not in concealing the truth by burying the data on deaths and infections," Venugopal said. He said Congress Working Committee expressed "its revulsion at the shocking expenditure priorities of the Modi government".
"At a time when the nation's resources should be devoted to ensuring expansion of vaccination coverage and supply of essential medicines and oxygen, the Modi government is indulging in criminal waste of money by continuing with the personal vanity project of the Prime Minister in the national capital. This is the height of callousness and insensitivity as also an insult to the people of the country," the CWC said.