The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Tuesday launched an online campaign named ‘Let Congress Vaccinate’ in a bid to build pressure at the government level to allow them to procure Covid vaccines directly from the manufacturers.
State Congress chief D K Shivakumar said, “We are keen on the Rs 100 crore plan to directly procure vaccines from manufacturers and administer them to the people of Karnataka. We have been repeatedly seeking permission from the government for it but not granted yet.”
Shivakumar added that he has urged party workers and supporters to amplify the online campaign to get the government approval.
“We need your wholehearted support to build pressure on the government and show them how vaccines can be procured and administered to people in a totally transparent, fair, and efficient manner,” he further stated.
Criticising the BJP-led government, Shivakumar also alleged that enough vaccine doses were not made available to the people.
“Rather, BJP has chosen to export them for their own narrow PR gains. The consequence is that the health and well-being of our people has been compromised, thereby increasing the mortality rate in our state due to Covid”.
Karnataka has reported a cumulative 25,811 deaths linked to the pandemic since March 10 last year. However, 13,244 of these were recorded since April 1 this year alone. The fatality rate, on Monday, was at 2.09 per cent. The state had also recorded its highest single-day toll (626) since the pandemic began, on Sunday (May 23).
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah asserted that the BJP government “failed miserably” to manage the pandemic.
“It is a proven fact that people can be protected from Covid by vaccination. The BJP government has botched up the vaccination process and left the people of Karnataka in a miserable condition. Today there is no system in place and people have to fend for themselves,” Siddaramaiah said.
The former CM, like other senior leaders of the party, also uploaded a video on Twitter as part of the campaign. Other prominent leaders who did so were KPCC Working President Eshwar Khandre, former ministers R V Deshpande, Sharan Prakash Patil, Shantinagar MLA N A Harris, Chittapur MLA Priyank Kharge, and MLCs B K Hariprasad and V S Ugrappa.
A total of over 1.22 crore doses of vaccine have been administered in the state since January 16. Of this, over 95.68 lakh first doses and 26.28 lakh second doses were administered across age and priority groups so far. Over 2.44 lakh people aged between 18 and 44 have received the first dose of the vaccine in the state, statistics issued by the health department said.
A day after the Karnataka health department confirmed a shortage of Covaxin, the state received 1.25 lakh more doses on Tuesday.
“Karnataka received 1.25 lakh doses of Covaxin today under the Central quota. Total Covaxin doses received under Central quota is 12,91,280. Total Covaxin doses received under direct purchase is 1,44,170,” Health Minister K Sudhakar confirmed in a tweet.
On Monday, the state had advised private hospitals to use the available stock of Covaxin to administer the second dose to people aged 45 and above. The measure, according to Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Jawaid Akhtar, was to “tide over the current situation of short supply of Covaxin” in the state.
Karnataka had received another 3 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine as allocated by the Centre on Monday.