Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya defended the government on Tuesday while replying in the Rajya Sabha during a discussion on Covid-19, stating that the nation has been tackling the pandemic and also helping the world in this respect, and it is prepared for a possible third wave of Covid-19.

Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that there should be no politics over handling of the pandemic, Mandaviya said: “There is a need to work together as the implementation part has to be done by the states. I don’t want to do politics, but many states have 10-15 lakh doses of vaccine with them. I have data.”

He said the country did not have any laboratory to test Covid-19 at the onset of the pandemic last year, nor did it have the capacity to manufacture PPE kits.

Pointing out that the months-long lockdown was imposed last year to build infrastructure and ramp up manufacturing capacity, Mandaviya said, “We not only built the entire infrastructure, but when the world needed medicines like Hydroxychloroquine etc., we sent them to over 123 countries.”

The discussion in the Rajya Sabha was initiated by the Leader of Opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge, who accused the government of hiding data on Covid deaths.

–IANS

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