Current vaccination pace may bring multiple COVID waves: Rahul Gandhitext_fields
New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has directly held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the second COVID emergence in the country and accused him of creating space for the pandemic to spread through his actions.
Rahul Gandhi also charged that PM Modi was hiding the real COVID death figure.
Pointing out at the current vaccination pace, he warned of the possible occurrences of multiple emergences of COVID waves. Rahul Gandhi called for a comprehensives COVID-19 vaccine strategy to include the entire people of the country in the vaccine eligible category.
Criticising the absence of vaccine strategy currently, he asked the government to form a panel that would meet daily and interact with top experts to strategise India's battle against Covid.
Noting that India was the vaccine capital of the world and it was possible to escalate the inoculation drive, Gandhi said it was time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be a leader and show that he can organise vaccines for everyone.
"In my understanding, going by the current rate of vaccination guarantees the third wave of the virus. If vaccination was 50-60 per cent you would not have a third wave and certainly not the fourth," he told a press conference.
He said going by today's pace of vaccinations, the entire inoculation exercise will be completed by May 2024 and several waves of Covid will come.
He said lockdown, masks and social distancing are temporary solutions, but vaccination is a permanent solution to Covid and the government must evolve a strategy.
In a virtual press conference on Covid, Gandhi also asked the government to stop the blame game and procure vaccines from wherever it can. Arguing that while the US has vaccinated 50% of its population and even countries such as Brazil are ahead of India, Gandhi said, "At this rate, we can vaccinate our entire population only by 2024."
He also asked the PM to involve others. Adding that in the current situation, the Centre has kept the door wide open for the virus to circulate, Gandhi said, "If (Chhattisgarh CM) Bhupesh Baghel, (West Bengal CM) Mamata Banerjee and Modi are on the same page, coronavirus can be kept out."
"Many people and I had been giving non-stop warnings against Covid. But the PM declared victory, saying Covid has been defeated. The problem is that the government and PM didn't even understand that Corona is an evolving disease." Gandi said
"The more you give time and space to the virus, the more dangerous it becomes," he said. He also emphasised that the only vaccine is a permanent solution while lockdown, masks and social distancing are temporary solutions.
"I told the PM, if you don't implement vaccine strategy properly, Covid waves will continue to come. There will be fourth, fifth, sixth waves too," he said.
As a response to the criticism by Rahul, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the vaccination exercise in India will be completed by December. He also added that Health Ministry has given a roadmap for producing 216 crore doses by the end of this year.
He also accused that language used by Rahul Gandhi and the way he tried to stoke fears on COVID-19 confirms that Congress is behind the 'toolkit'.