Centre has mismanaged Covid situation, allowed vaccine shortage: Sonia

NEW DELHI, 10 Apr: Congress president Sonia Gandhi accused the Centre on Saturday of “mismanaging” the Covid-19 situation and creating a vaccine shortage in the country by exporting it, as she called for cancelling all public gatherings and poll rallies in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Addressing a virtual meeting with the chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states and ministers of the party in states where it is in power in alliance with others, she said the priority should be to test, track and vaccinate.

She was reviewing the efforts by the states ruled by

 the Congress to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus infection after the country saw a record 1,45,384 fresh Covid-19 cases and 794 deaths on Saturday.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh and Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel were among those who participated in the meeting.

Rahul Gandhi called for putting money in the hands of the poor.

While Singh pointed out that Punjab’s vaccination stock will last for five more days, Baghel said Chhattisgarh will run out of the vaccine stock in three days. Gehlot said the Centre should not see the states ruled by other parties as adversaries.

“The (Narendra) Modi government has mismanaged the Covid situation. It has exported the vaccines and allowed a shortage to be created in India,” the Congress chief said at the meeting.

She said all public gatherings and poll rallies should be cancelled as the number of Covid-19 cases is on the rise.

Rahul Gandhi expressed concern over the second wave of Covid-19 hitting the country. He urged the government to look at new mutations, which are the source of the second wave, and called for joining hands and energies, instead of complacency and premature victories.

He also pointed towards a direct connection between the spread of the infection and nutrition and livelihood. He said the virus attacks the poorest and disadvantaged the hardest, as he reiterated his demand for a “basic income support” by the government.

Sonia Gandhi said strict measures need to be taken in the Congress-ruled states to ensure that the pandemic does not go out of control and large-scale testing, preparation of adequate facilities and setting up temporary ones should be ensured. (PTI)