As India faces a shortage of vaccines amid the second coronavirus wave, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president DK Shivakumar took to Twitter and said: “Congress Party would like permission to directly approach vaccine makers across the world and procure them. We will show that we can do the vaccination drive better and faster than Modi and Yediyurappa together are able to.”
Minutes before Shivakumar’s tweet, former Karnataka CM and Congress legislative party leader Siddaramaiah addressed the media and said the state Congress has decided to donate Rs 100 crore to procure vaccines. Speaking to the media, he said: “We have decided to give Rs 100 crore from the Congress party. But on one condition; the money should only be used to procure vaccines and there has to be transparency on how the money is being spent.”
Most of the states are facing scarcity of vaccines and those who are aged above 45 are unable to get their second shot. The Centre has now said the gap between first and second jab of Covishield should be 12–16 weeks.
Karnataka government has announced strict guidelines from May 10 to May 24. The government is now looking to extend the lockdown for few more weeks. The lockdown so far has given better result as positive cases dropped down from 20,000 plus to 14,000 in a week’s time.
However, the situation on the ground remains unchanged and is getting worse. People are running from pillar to post to get oxygen, beds, ventilators and vaccines. Two days ago, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ashwath Narayan said that the government has given order for 3 crore vaccines and it may take a while to procure them.
Now, Shivakumar is daring Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give Congress permission to directly approach vaccine manufacturers across the globe and procure vaccines.
Reacting to Shivakumar’s tweet, few social media users advised him not to politicise the issue. A Twitter handle reacted saying “Your party is in power in Punjab, Chattisgarh, Rajastan. If you are capable of procuring vaccine directly from the manufacturers, then why there are scarcity in your own party run states?”