West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his ‘biased attitude towards some states regarding the supply of Covid vaccines.
The Chief Minister also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, requesting him to increase the supply of vaccine doses to the state.
“I was listening to the Prime Minister’s speech in Varanasi. He has appreciated the Uttar Pradesh government for its successful handling of the Covid situation in the state. I am not against the people of Uttar Pradesh, but I would like to remind the Prime Minister about the bodies that were floating in the Ganges. We recovered eight bodies from our state and I don’t know how many were recovered from Bihar,” the Chief Minister said.
“I want all the people of the country to be vaccinated, but what this government is doing with vaccines is not correct. The BJP-ruled states are getting more vaccines and the non-BJP states are not getting vaccines. This biased attitude is not expected from the Centre,” she added.
Assuring that the state is capable of administering 10 lakh vaccines per day, the Chief Minister said in her letter to the Prime Minister, “We didn’t get vaccines for the last seven days. As per our assessment, the state needs around 11.5 crore more doses of Covid 19 vaccine to cover everyone in the eligible categories, and going by the current level of supply, it may take rather a longer period before everyone is covered. So far we have received only 2.12 crore dose.”
“The state had started the vaccination drive on January 16, 2021, and till date, we have already administered 2.5 crore doses (1.81 crore 1st doses, 0.70 crore 2nd doses) against a supply of 2.12 crore doses from the Government of India, 18 lakhs procured by the state government and the balance by the private sector,” the Chief Minister wrote.
“Presently, we are administering around 3 lakh doses of vaccine every day in our state and it is becoming very difficult to maintain even this level due to irregular supply. We can vaccinate more than 10 lakh people every day, provided sufficient quantities of vaccine doses are made available,” the Chief Minister wrote.
“As per the intimation received from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the state has been allocated 73 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine for the month of July 2021. But unfortunately, only 25 lakh doses have been received till date in the current month,” she said.
“Hence, we would earnestly request you to kindly give the necessary instructions so that vaccine supply to our state is increased as per our requirement stated above, in order to facilitate vaccinating a substantial portion of the population before the third wave of Covid-19 sets in,” she concluded.