New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday questioned the export of COVID-19 vaccines, and asked if it is right to do so and put the lives of Indians in danger.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Tika (vaccination) Utsav’ from April 11 to 14, Gandhi said, vaccine shortage is a very serious problem during Corona times and is not a celebration.
Gandhi also called upon the central government to help states without any bias and help provide them with more vaccines.
“Shortage of vaccine in view of the rise in Corona cases is a very serious problem and not a celebration,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
“Is it right to export the vaccine and put Indians at risk. The central government should help all states without any bias. We all have to fight this pandemic together and defeat it,” he added.
The Congress leader also wrote to PM Modi on Thursday highlighting that the snail’s pace which inoculation is underway in India, it would take many years to vaccinate 75% of the population, which will have “catastrophic effects and will gravely decelerate India’s economy.”
Gandhi requested the PM to provide necessary resources to vaccine manufacturers to speed up production, impose immediate moratorium on vaccine export and fast-track approval on other vaccines as per norms and guidelines.
Further, the Congress leader also asked to open up vaccination to everyone who needs it, instead of restricting it to an age group, and provide direct income support to the vulnerable sections in the disastrous second wave.
He also asked the PM to double the central allocation for vaccine procurement from the existing Rs 35,000 crore and give states a great say in the process of vaccine procurement and distribution.