Rahul Gandhi has maintained that the second wave would not have been so deadly had the government ensured easy access to vaccines.
Union Minister Hardeep Puri on Saturday hit out at top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who has been raising concerns over the Covid vaccine shortage in the country and the pace of the inoculation drive.
“Rahul Gandhi asks where the vaccines for our children are. Vaccines are in the garbage in Rajasthan and in Punjab, profits are being made out of vaccines. This is the culture of the Congress,” Mr Puri said during a press conference.
The Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab found itself at the centre of a storm this week after Sukhbir Badal, chief of the opposition Akali Dal, said the state government had re-sold 40,000 doses of Covaxin at “hefty margins”.
Mr Badal said the doses had been purchased at Rs. 400 per dose and sold to private hospitals for Rs. 1,060 per dose – a “profit” of Rs. 660 per dose. The hospitals sold it at Rs. 1,560 per dose. Soon after the backlash, the Congress government on Friday withdrew the order providing “one-time limited vaccine doses to 18-44 age group population through private hospitals”.
In Rajasthan, there were allegations raised by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat that the state had wasted 11.5 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccine. The state government, however, said the wastage of vaccine in Rajasthan is less than 2 per cent, which is below the national average of 6 percent and permissible limit of 10 per cent.
Rahul Gandhi, who has been fiercely critical of the centre’s handling of the pandemic and the vaccination policy, has maintained that the second wave would not have been so deadly had the government ensured easy access to vaccines.
Last month, he said that a COVID-19 vaccine-treatment protocol should already have been in place for children in the country. , “In the time to come, children will need protection from Corona. Paediatric services and vaccine-treatment protocol should already be in place,” the Congress MP had tweeted.