Congress party in Manipur has demanded ‘universal free’ COVID-19 vaccination for every citizen of India. In this regard, the party submitted a memorandum to the Manipur Governor on Friday.
In the memorandum submitted by a delegation of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) led by former chief minister O Ibobi Singh, the opposition also drew the attention of the government in speeding up the ongoing vaccination drive.
It said that Covid-19 has caused unprecedented devastation and immeasurable pain to nearly every Indian family. “Tragically, the Modi government has completely abdicated its duty of fighting the coronavirus and abandoned the people, leaving them to fend for themselves. The truth is that the Union government is guilty of criminal mismanagement of Covid-19”, the Congress alleged in the memorandum.
Asserting that vaccination is the only protection in the midst of the raging Covid-19 pandemic, it observed that the Modi government’s vaccination strategy has been a dangerous cocktail of blunders and bloopers.
In the memorandum, the Congress pointed out that even as other countries started placing purchase orders for vaccines from May 2020, the Modi government failed India.
It went on to place its first order of vaccines only in January 2021, it alleged.
The Congress party then said that, as per publicly available information, Modi government and state governments have till date ordered only 39 crore vaccine doses for its total population of 140 crores.
As per the government of India, it has administered 21.31 crore vaccine doses till May 31 last. But, only 4.45 crore Indians have received both the doses of vaccine, which is only 3.17% of India’s population.
It also said that in the last 134 days, the average pace of vaccination is about 16 lakh vaccine doses per day. At this pace, it will take over three years for us to vaccinate our adult population.
“If this is the case, how will we save our fellow citizens from the third wave of Corona is the question that the Modi government needs to answer,” the Congress stated in the memorandum.
The multiple pricing slabs for the vaccine fixed by the Modi government is another instance of profiteering from people’s misery, it pointed out.
It alleged that Serum Institute’s Covishield single dose costs Rs 150 to Modi government, Rs 300 to state governments and Rs 600 to private hospitals.
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin single dose costs Rs 150 to Modi government, Rs 600 to state government and Rs1,200 to private hospitals, the Congress party also said.
It also alleged that the private hospitals are even charging upto Rs 1,500 for a single dose. The full cost of two doses should be accordingly calculated.
“The Modi government’s sponsored three price slabs for the same vaccine are a recipe for profiteering out of people’s misery”, it added.
According to the Congress party, the need of the hour is that the Union government should procure the vaccine and supply it for free to the states and private hospitals for vaccination of the people of India.
“Anything less is a huge disservice to India and its people”, it stated while stressing the need for vaccination of the entire population of above 18 years on or before December 31, 2021.
“This is the only way to save our people,” the Congress party also said and added that for this, the only solution is to vaccinate at least one crore people a day and not the current average of 16 lakh people a day.
The Congress party then requested the Governor to direct the Modi government to ensure one crore vaccination per day as also universal free vaccination.
“This is the only way to fight Covid-19 pandemic and defeat the disease. This is the only way for each Indian to emerge victorious over Corona,” the opposition stated in the memorandum.
MPCC president Govindas Konthoujam, CWC member Gaikhangam and MPCC general secretary K Meghachandra were among others who accompanied the former chief minister in submitting the memorandum.