Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Lok Sabha, on the first day of the monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Lok Sabha, on the first day of the monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday. (PTI)

PM briefs floor leaders on Covid management, 6 parties skip meeting

The Prime Minister spoke about how India’s vaccination programme—the largest in the world—has gained pace and pointed out “that the first 10 crore doses took around 85 days while the last 10 crore doses have taken 24 days.”
By Saubhadra Chatterji, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2021 07:25 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that Covid-19 response should not be a matter of politics and that India has been able to check the disease at a second wave while some countries have suffered as many as four waves. He made the remark while addressing a meeting of Parliamentary floor leaders.

According to three leaders present in the meeting, the PM used an Olympic analogy to underline that good pandemic management of a state is a matter of satisfaction for the entire country. “If an Indian athlete wins a gold medal in the upcoming Olympics, it is a matter of national pride and not which party in power helped him or her. It’s same for the pandemic management too,” Modi said at a briefing for floor leaders on Covid-19.

The meeting, conducted by Union home minister Amit Shah, was boycotted by six Opposition parties—the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Akali Dal, Rashtriya Janata Dal, CPI(M) and CPI—as they maintained that any discussion on Covid should take place in Parliament

The Prime Minister spoke about how India’s vaccination programme—the largest in the world—has gained pace and pointed out “that the first 10 crore doses took around 85 days while the last 10 crore doses have taken 24 days.”

He also informed the leaders that the daily closing stocks show an average of more than 1.5 crore vaccines at the end of the day throughout the country,” said an official press release.

Modi stressed on the need for proper planning of vaccination, especially at the district level, based on the advance availability indicated by the Union health minister, and expressed concern over only 80% of India’s healthcare workers being vaccinated till now.

“Modi said 100% of them must be vaccinated,” said a leader present in the meeting.

Parties close to the BJP hailed Modi’s efforts. Pashupati Paras of the LJP described Modi as the “best PM of the world”. AIADMK said, “Modi is a deity in all Indian households.”

Biju Janata Dal leader Pinaki Mishra asked the PM to keep the share of vaccine doses for private hospitals to only 10% in states such as Odisha, which doesn’t have too many private health facilities.

Trinamool leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said Bengal got only 2.5 million doses as against the allotted 7.5 million doses for July, and requested the PM to give more vaccines to the state.

DMK leader TR Balu was critical of the Centre’s role and alleged that the government is clueless in the battle against Covid-19. Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav cautioned that in many UP villages, people shut their door to vaccine teams.

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