Covid-19: Mamata administration questions Centre’s vaccination data
- A senior official of the West Bengal government said on Saturday that that the state had set a target to vaccinate 20,700 health workers on the first day.
In a fresh flashpoint between the Centre and the West Bengal government, the Mamata Banerjee administration has questioned the data on vaccination published by the Union government on Saturday, alleging that it was incorrect.
While the state health department claimed that at least 15,707 people were vaccinated on the first day in West Bengal, the union health ministry in its tweet said 9730 beneficiaries received the jab in the eastern state.
A senior official of the West Bengal government said on Saturday that that the state had set a target to vaccinate 20,700 health workers on the first day. Out of them, the official said, 15,707 (75.9%) received the shot. While 92% of the target could be achieved in Kolkata, in some districts such as Jhargram 100% target was achieved.
Late on Saturday night, however, the Union heath ministry tweeted that out of the 191,181 beneficiaries across the country, only 9,730 were from West Bengal, which is less than 50% of the target set by the state.
“This is not correct. We are taking it up with them (the Centre),” said NS Nigam, state health secretary.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday requested the Union government to send adequate supply of Covid-19 vaccines for all citizens in the state, and said her government was ready to bear the cost. Banerjee earlier announced that her government would provide free vaccine to all citizens across the state.
On Saturday, India launched the world’s largest coronavirus vaccination drive, setting in motion a complex deployment plan aimed at stemming the wide spread of infections across a nation of more than 1.3 billion people.
This is, however, not the first time that differences have surfaced between the Bengal administration and the Union government over Covid-19 data and related issues.
In May 2020, an inter-ministerial central team (IMCT), which was sent to assess Bengal’s response to Covid-19, alleged discrepancies in the number of cases reported by the state.
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