Updated: June 3, 2021 7:47:35 am
Opposition Congress in Karnataka Wednesday urged the BJP-led state government to pay heed to remarks and advice by renowned microbiologist Dr Gagandeep Kang for inputs towards better management of the pandemic. Dr Kang, last month, was appointed to advise the state government on the Covid-19 vaccine strategy.
“We thought the BJP government was finally taking scientific advice. However, it is clear it was only headline management because the government’s actions don’t reflect their own advisor’s advice,” said state Congress chief DK Shivakumar said.
The Congress leader also sought clarification from the government on its approval of her comment that vaccine procurement should be done at the central level and not directly by any states. “Does the BJP government agree with Dr Kang that India was ‘late on the table’ in acquiring vaccines from global companies?” Shivakumar questioned.
Further, Congress demanded that the government should clarify whether her advice was sought before deciding to float a global tender for Covid vaccines. “The BJP government in Karnataka should clarify if they support their vaccine advisor’s remarks and demands,” the Opposition party in Karnataka said.
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Incidentally, Congress had earlier sought permission from the Centre and the state government to allow them to do so. The party had also prepared a Rs 100 crore plan to procure vaccines directly from vaccine manufacturers to be administered to people in the state.
Towards the end of May, the party had also launched an online campaign named ‘Let Congress Vaccinate’ in a bid to build pressure on the government to allow them to procure Covid vaccines directly from the manufacturers.
State Congress chief D K Shivakumar had then 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.”
As per statistics issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Karnataka has administered over 1.38 crore vaccines to people across age groups and priority groups. While over 1.10 crore doses of these were administered as first doses, over 27.67 lakh were second doses. Meanwhile, over 11.90 lakh first doses have been administered to people aged 18 to 44 across the state so far.
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