Calcutta HC directs Centre to take instructions about Covid-19 vaccine supply to West Bengal
The Calcutta high court on Thursday directed the Centre to take necessary instructions about the supply of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine to West Bengal. The bench of acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice A Banerjee was responding to a public interest litigation PIL filed by a doctor, reported news agency ANI.
The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for May 10.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi a day before, requesting him to ensure adequate supply of Covid-19 vaccines and other essentials like medical oxygen, Remdesivir and Tocilizumab. Banerjee also requested the Prime Minister for free Covid-19 vaccination for all citizens of the state.
"I am again writing to you on the issue of Covid considering the huge proportion that several aspects of its management including ensuring adequate vaccines, number of hospital beds, medicines, oxygen for all patients have assumed in the country. At the very outset, I would again like to emphasize free vaccination for all. You may kindly recall my letter of February 24, 2021, wherein I had requested you to allow the Government of West Bengal to procure vaccines from designated points for providing vaccination to people of the state free of cost. This has not yet been addressed," Banerjee wrote in her letter to PM Modi on Wednesday.
The newly sworn chief minister also fired a fresh salvo on the BJP-led central government for not providing funds for vaccines and constructing new Parliament buildings and statues. Banerjee referred to the construction of Central Vista project with a total estimated cost of ₹13,450 crore.
"Why are they not allotting ₹30,000 crores for vaccines when they are making new Parliament and statues, spending ₹20,000. Where is the PM CARES Fund? Why are they risking the lives of young people? Their leaders should visit Covid hospitals, instead of going places. Their leaders are coming and spreading Covid," ANI quoted Banerjee as saying.
West Bengal is among the nine states that made up for more than 72 per cent of 412,262 new Covid-19 infections reported in the last 24 hours.
So far, the state has consumed a total of 11,633,588 Covid-19 vaccines including wastage. West Bengal currently has a balance of nearly 250,000 vaccine doses and 200,000 doses are in pipeline as of Wednesday morning, according to the Union health ministry's data on vaccine distribution to the states.