Updated: April 11, 2021 7:26:30 am
Alleging “political prejudice” by the Centre not only in allocation of Covid-19 vaccines but also in distribution of PPE kits, N95 masks and ventilators, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday alleged that the Union government was treating Maharashtra in a step-motherly fashion.
In a statement, he said: “Earlier this week, the Centre and the state government made charges and countercharges against each other over allocation of vaccines. While state Health Minister Rajesh Tope maintained that vaccine supply was slow and not adequate, resulting in shortage, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan blamed the MVA government for failing to curb Covid-19 cases.”
“Maharashtra has the highest Covid-19 caseload, but we are facing step-motherly treatment from the Centre in supply of vaccines, according to the state health minister,” he added.
Alleging that “this is not only limited to the distribution of vaccines”, Chavan said: “…in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the government of India has given details of critical medical equipment supplied to each state as of February 10… If we project the total quantity supplied to each state compared to the caseload, we get a shocking picture.”
“Gujarat got 9,623 N95 masks per thousand patients as compared to Maharashtra’s 1,560 masks per thousand patients. Even Uttar Pradesh got 3,916 masks, more than twice that of Maharashtra. Gujarat got 4,951 PPE kits per thousand patients, Uttar Pradesh got 2,446 while Maharashtra got just 223 kits per thousand patients.”
He added that when it came to ventilators, Gujarat received 13 per thousand patients, Uttar Pradesh got seven while Maharashtra got only two per thousand patients.
“What is this if not discrimination on the basis of politics? The Prime Minister seems to be forgetting that he is the PM of the entire country and not just Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and other BJP-ruled states,” said Chavan.
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