April 18, 2021 4:02:52 am
THE second Covid surge has touched states where there are no elections and so linking it to polls is “not right,” Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Friday, adding that the situation, as of now, doesn’t warrant a “lockdown in a hurry.” He added that a “full-fledged” fight was on and that he was confident “we will declare a victory over this.”
Asked about the alarming Covid surge and election rallies, Shah, speaking to The Indian Express on the campaign trail, said: “Dekhiye, Maharashtra mein chunav hai kya? Udhar 60,000 cases hain, idhar 4,000 hain. Maharashtra ke liye bhi mujhe anukampa hai. Aur iske liye bhi anukampa hai. Isko chunav ke saat jodna theek nahi hai. Jin jin rajyon me chunav hua? Jahan chunav nahi hua hai, udhar zyada badhe. Ab aap kya kehenge? (Is there an election in Maharashtra? It has 60,000 cases while here (in Bengal) it is 4,000. I care for Maharashtra and I care for Bengal. But linking (Covid surge) with election is not right. Which are the states where elections took place? And those that didn’t have any election have witnessed the surge. How do you explain that?)
When told that unlike in the first wave, this time around, there didn’t seem to be the sense of urgency or emergency at the Centre, Shah said: “That’s not true. There were two meetings with Chief Ministers and I was also present…Consultations have happened with scientists on the vaccination front…preparations to fight this are full-fledged. The pace (of spread) this time is so high that it is bit difficult to fight. But I am confident that we will have a victory over this.”
Asked about states complaining of vaccine shortage and the Government sending stocks overseas, Shah said: “Our vaccination program was the fastest in the world. In the first 10 days, the number of people who got vaccinated was the highest in India. After the first shot, there has to be a gap and the second one cannot be expedited. I do not agree that there’s a shortage.”
Asked if the Centre and states had dropped the ball during the falling Covid curve or not anticipated a second wave and if the public had let their guard down, Shah said: “I think the surge is mainly because of the new mutants of the virus. Many countries are seeing the surge. Scientists are studying it and a conclusion on this will be premature.”
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