The Delhi government said on Thursday that while the national capital has adequate ICU beds and medical oxygen stock in the government-run hospitals and private healthcare centers, the Centre should fix a uniform rate for vaccines.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said in a press conference that as the number of daily cases has reduced in the city, there are adequate beds for Covid patients in the national capital now.
However, Jain also said that Delhi has no Covaxin stock left for the 18-44 age group, and blamed the Centre for the vaccine crisis, not only in Delhi, but across the nation.
On Wednesday, Delhi had shut as many as 100 vaccination centers citing a shortage of vaccine supply.
Jain, who earlier held a video conference with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, said that he had conveyed to the latter that private players like Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech were generating huge profit of Rs 16,000 crore on 100 crore doses, considering the pandemic as an opportunity to generate enormous profits.
He elaborated, “Assuming a profit of Rs 10 per dose, the manufacturing companies produce 6 crore doses per month, it incurs Rs 30 crore profit from Centre, Rs 240 crore from states and Rs 690 crore from private entities. The total of which comes to approximately Rs 960 crore and per crore profit would be Rs 160 crore. So on 100 crore doses, a profit of Rs 16,000 crore is made.”
“Is the pandemic an opportunity to generate profits when the nation is grappling with a crisis,” Jain asked.
“A uniform rate of Rs 150 should be fixed for all the Centre, state and private entities. Even at Rs 150, the companies will make enormous profits,” he added.
In view of the shortage of vaccines, Jain said the Centre should take the formulas of vaccines from these two firms (SII and Bharat Biotech) and share them with other companies capable of manufacturing vaccines.
“It is widely known that India is home to the biggest and most prominent vaccine manufacturers in the world. Hence, a number of companies are capable of manufacturing it and mobilising it into the market for the public,” Jain added.
Jain said that he has also requested the Centre to adopt a ‘One Nation, One Tender’ policy for vaccine procurement from the international market, as state-wise tenders won’t put India in good light.
Earlier on Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said that Delhi’s daily oxygen requirement has fallen from 700 MT to 582 MT per day and hence the additional oxygen quota of the national capital should be supplied to other states needing the life-saving gas.
“Delhi government is a responsible government and hence it is requesting the Centre to reduce the daily oxygen allocation to Delhi to 582 MT. This way the other states in need of oxygen can get the surplus amount from Delhi,” Sisodia said.