Covid-19 vaccine shortage: Maharashtra, Centre in a war of words

By Administrator_ India

Capital Sands

The Centre today hit back at the Maharashtra government and accused it of creating panic and spreading lies after it raised serious concerns about the Covid-19 vaccine shortage in the state.

The Centre’s reaction came hours after Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said that the state had barely 2-3 days of vaccine stock left and urged the central government to hasten supplies. A day earlier, other non-Bharatiya Janata Party ruled states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha had expressed similar concerns of a vaccine shortage.

The development comes as India surpassed the US to become the fastest vaccinating country in the world with an average daily rate of 3.09 million vaccine doses. In all 87 million doses have been administered to date, including 3.3 million on Tuesday, the Union health ministry said in a statement.

Briefing reporters today, Tope said, “We were vaccinating 300,000 persons daily when the Centre asked us to double the target. We took up the challenge and are now vaccinating around 450,000 people daily in Maharashtra.” He added, “We will easily scale up to 500,000 and then 600,000. But now we are forced to close some of the vaccination centres in the state as the doses are not available. People are being turned away by the staff at these centres.”

The minister said Maharashtra is the number one state in vaccinating people and urged the Centre to supply doses quickly and open up vaccination for everyone above 18 years as that would help the state to contain the spread of the pandemic. According to Tope, the state has 1.4 million Covid-19 vaccine doses available, which will suffice for only three days.

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