Continue pressure on govt to treble daily vaccination rate: Sonia Gandhi to AICC

She emphasised the party must play an active role in ensuring full vaccination coverage and encourage people to overcome vaccine hesitancy and register for jabs
Congress president Sonia Gandhi. (PTI)
Congress president Sonia Gandhi. (PTI)
Published on Jun 24, 2021 01:21 PM IST
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Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday asked the party to continue the pressure on the government to treble the daily rate of vaccination to ensure at least 75% of India’s population is inoculated at the end of 2021.

She emphasised the party must play an active role in ensuring full vaccination coverage and encourage people to overcome vaccine hesitancy and register for jabs. “It is absolutely essential that our party plays an active role in ensuring full vaccination coverage. At the national level, the daily rate of vaccination has to treble so that 75% of our population gets fully vaccinated by end of this year,” she said in her opening remarks at a meeting with the party’s general secretaries and state chiefs.

“No doubt, this is dependent entirely on the adequacy of vaccine supply. We must continue to put pressure on the Union government which has, at our Party’s insistence, finally taken on the responsibility for this. At the same time, we have to ensure that registration takes place, that vaccine hesitancy wherever evident is overcome and vaccine wastage is minimised,” Gandhi said.

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Nearly 6.4 million doses of vaccines were administered against Covid-19 across the country till 11 pm on Wednesday, as per the Co-WIN dashboard – making it the day with the second-highest daily inoculation figures since the start of the drive.

India’s latest round of vaccinations began on Monday with a record 8.5 million doses administered, but the numbers saw a slight drop on Tuesday when there were around 5.4 million daily jabs with numbers fluctuating heavily across states.

Gandhi asked the party leaders to give “urgent attention” and take “provocative measures” in the context of a possible third Covid-19 wave. “We have to take steps to be better prepared if and when this strikes. The second wave these past four months has been devastating for lakhs and lakhs of individual families all over the country. We must learn from this traumatic experience so that we do not have to experience it yet again,” she said.

The meeting to deliberate on an outreach programme by the Congress was called as the party now aims to focus on the daily wagers and unorganised sector hit by the pandemic.

HT reported on Thursday that Congress general secretary KC Venugopal has written to the state party units saying they aim to provide relief “especially to those who have kept essential services running but are not recognised as frontline workers”.

Gandhi referred to the letter and the tasks ahead for the Congress workers. She spoke about the “intolerable burden being imposed by rising fuel prices” and how “prices of many other essential commodities like pulses and edible oils too have skyrocketed causing wide-spread distress.”

“This price rise is taking place at a time when livelihoods are being lost in unprecedented numbers, when there is mounting unemployment and when economic recovery is not a reality,” she said.

A Congress leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the party is working on an action plan for protests against the price rise of essential commodities and fuel.

The Congress’s new approach to Covid-19 related outreach will now include farmers, agricultural labourers, street vendors, artisans, washermen, weavers, potters, masons, domestic workers and carpenters.

There was no immediate response from the government or the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021