‘Ensure adequate vaccine supply’: Chidambaram to new health minister Mandaviya
- The Congress leader also asked the Mansukh Mandaviya to not play anymore games to “enter the Guinness Book of Records” and only focus on supplying vaccine to states.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday took to Twitter to state that the first task of the newly-appointed Union health minister Mansukh Mandviya should be to “ensure adequate and uninterrupted supply” of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines to all states and Union territories (UTs). “Once again, vaccination has been suspended at several centres in Tamil Nadu because they have run out of vaccines,” he tweeted.
“No more games to enter the Guinness Book of Records please. Just focus on the supply of vaccines to all states,” the Congress leader wrote in another tweet, taking a dig at the central government’s claim of carrying out the biggest Covid-19 vaccination drive in the world a few weeks before.
Notably, the resignation of Dr Harsh Vardhan came to many as quite a shock since Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always lauded him for his handling of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in India since its outbreak in March last year.
Vardhan, who is an ENT surgeon by profession, was managing the ministries of science and technology, and earth sciences as well. He was even elected to the executive board of the World Health Organisation (WHO) last year.
Soon after Vardhan’s resignation surfaced, Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala and Jairam Ramesh extended defence for the former, saying that he has been made a “scapegoat” for the failures of the Centre. “Poor Dr. Harsh Vardhan, a good man has been made a scapegoat for monumental failures at the highest level — nowhere else,” Ramesh tweeted.
Meanwhile, vaccine shortage has lately been an issue across India with vaccination drive reportedly affected in several states, including Jharkhand and Maharashtra, among others. The Union health ministry issued statements on Tuesday and Wednesday to clarify that the Centre informs the states and UTs in advance about the number of vaccine doses being sent to them. The ministry also pointed out that states have been asked to plan their Covid-19 vaccination drive based on the availability of vaccine doses.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO, Adar Poonawalla, on Thursday congratulated the new health minister and said that the company is “looking forward” to Mandaviya’s “leadership” to navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic.
A Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat, Mandaviya holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Bhavnagar University.