West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged the Centre to immediately take steps to ensure that people vaccinated with Covaxin are not restricted from travelling to foreign countries.
Speaking to reporters at state secretariat Nabanna, Banerjee claimed that Covaxin has also created problems with neighbouring Bangladesh and Brazil.
“Covaxin has not been authorised by foreign countries and not accepted there. Several students, aspiring for higher studies abroad, are facing difficulties in travelling because they have taken the Covaxin doses,” she said.
“Covaxin is the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it has even created problems with Brazil and Bangladesh,” Banerjee claimed.
The chief minister said that those who have taken Covishield doses are not facing any problem.
“Either immediately get Covaxin authenticated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) or take other steps so that Covaxin is accepted globally,” she said.The CM on Wednesday said her government is anticipating the onset of a third wave of Covid-19 within one month in the state and has already begun preparations to deal with it.
“Scientists are saying that the third wave will mostly affect children and, hence, we have decided to intensify the vaccination drive for mothers of children in the age group of 0-12. They will be inoculated on priority,” she said.
Taking aim at the Centre over its vaccine distribution policy, she said, “The central government has totally failed in vaccine distribution. The PM’s brainchild, Covaxin, hasn’t got emergency use approval overseas. Students who took Covaxin are facing trouble going off-shore for further studies. We request the government to take the initiative in ensuring recognition of Covaxin on the international platform helping solve the problems faced by these students.
Meanwhile, 1,925 more people in the state tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, while 38 fresh fatalities pushed Bengal’s coronavirus death toll to 17,475 a health bulletin said. The fresh caseload took the total number of cases till date to 14,87,363.
With inputs from PTI