June 24, 2021 10:22:31 pm
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Thursday alleged that BJP-ruled states — such as neighbouring Haryana — were getting more supply of vaccine doses from the Centre, due to which their vaccination numbers were far higher than Punjab. He also said that Punjab needs a supply of at least 2 lakh doses, as the state has the infrastructure to inoculate at least 3 lakh people a day.
Sidhu said that an ‘imbalanced supply of Covid vaccines’ has slowed down the pace of vaccinations in Punjab, despite the state having ‘strong infrastructure to easily inoculate at least three lakh beneficiaries in a day.’
The minister added that as per data available in the public domain, the speed of vaccination drive has increased manifold in BJP-ruled states — such as Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.
“On an average, vaccines administered per day in Madhya Pradesh before June 20 was 1.75 lakh and surprisingly, it has increased to 17 lakh on June 21. This translates to a nine-fold increase, which exposes the disparity being made by the Government of India (GoI) in the supply of vaccines to various states,” said Sidhu.
Sidhu claimed that Madhya Pradesh has received the supply of 17 lakh doses in a day, while Punjab got just 16 lakh doses from June 1 to 24. He said that the gap between demand and supply among states is a matter of concern and equitable distribution of vaccines was very important for the success of the world’s biggest immunisation drive that is going on.
“Similarly, neighboring Haryana has recorded nearly 7-fold increase in vaccination due to excess supply of doses and in other BJP-ruled states, a similar trend has been recorded. Karnataka and Assam have recorded five-fold increase, Uttarakhand 3.80, Himachal Pradesh 3, Uttar Pradesh 2.29 and Gujarat-2.5 – in daily vaccination,” said Sidhu.
Sidhu pointed out that the success of the inoculation drive majorly depends on the supply of vaccines. But the doses received by Punjab in the month of May, was just 17 lakh, which is way too little. “The Centre has assured to deliver 21 lakh doses in the month of June, but till now just 16 lakh doses have been received. The uneven supply of vaccines is hitting Punjab very badly,” said Sidhu.
Raising the issue of disparity in the supply of vaccines, Sidhu asked the Centre to ensure the supply of a minimum of at least two lakh doses per day to Punjab so that the set target could be achieved before the possible third Covid wave hit.
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