The Centre vs state altercation over Covid vaccine doses witnessed fresh round of allegations from Maharashtra on Thursday. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope claimed that Gujarat, which has less population than Maharashtra, has been provided a much larger stock of vaccine by the Centre.
Tope also questioned the Modi government’s move to send vaccines to various other countries rather than providing it to states battling the pandemic.
“We want at least 40 lakh vaccine dosages every week. Instead of supplying vaccines to other countries, supply them to our own states. The centre is helping us but it is not helping us in the way it should,” Rajesh Tope said.
“Gujarat is half of the population of Maharashtra. Gujarat has got 1 crore vaccines till now, however, we have got only 1.04 lakhs vaccine dosages,” he added.
According to the latest release order of vaccines from Centre, Maharashtra has been given 7.5 lakh vaccine dosages only. While Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and other states have been given far more vaccines than Maharashtra, the minister said.
Tope said he and senior NCP leader Sharad Pawar have spoken to Union Health Minister Dr. Hardh Vardhan over the issue of shortage of vaccine in Maharashtra. He said that the Centre has assured Maharashtra the complaint will be looked into and corrective measures will be taken wherever required.
“I talked to Dr Harshavardhan immediately after this, even Sharad Pawar talked to him. I raised issue of discrimination with us. We have most number active patients, positivity rate and death with 12 crore population. Why we are given so few vaccines?” Tope said.
“Harshvardhan Ji assured me that corrections will be done soon. We are still waiting. We want 1.6 crore vaccine dosages per month and 40 lakh every week because we are vaccinating 6 lakh people every day,” he said.
Earlier, several reports said that vaccination are several centres had to be suspended because of the shortage of doses.
Harsh Vardhan had on Wednesday denied shortage of Covid vaccines in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, adding that there were attempts by some state governments to “distract attention from their failures and spread panic among the people.”
“I have seen statements made by public representatives in Maharashtra about shortage of vaccines. This is nothing but an attempt to divert attention from Maharashtra government’s repeated failures to control the spread of pandemic. The inability of Maharashtra government to act responsibly is beyond comprehension,” the Union minister said in a statement.