The Maharashtra Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution, asking the Centre to provide a minimum of three crore Covid-19 vaccine doses per month to the state to reduce the impact of a possible third wave of the viral infection. Health Minister Rajesh Tope, who moved the resolution in the House, said the state machinery was well equipped to vaccinate 10 lakh people per day, provided the doses were available.
“With this number, we can vaccinate three crore people in the next two months. Expediting the vaccination drive is necessary for the economic revival as well," he said. The Centre has so far provided 2,84,39,060 vaccine doses and the state government has purchased 25,10,730 doses, the minister said, adding that 3,43,82,583 have been inoculated till now.
He said the state has so far conducted 4.25 crore tests for coronavirus, out of which 61 lakh have come out positive, while 1.23 lakh patients succumbed to the viral infection. After one-and-a-half years (since COVID-19 outbreak), there are 1.23 lakh active cases in the state, he said. “Maharashtra tops the list of states in the number of (COVID-19) infections, deaths and active cases. There are 21 cases of the ‘Delta Plus’ variant of coronavirus and 5,500 cases of mucormycosis (also known as black fungus). This is a serious situation," he said.
Shiv Sena’s Sunil Prabhu said the state should consider vaccinating citizens from the deprived and poor sections, as well as homeless people, who not have Aadhaar cards or other documents. Congress member Prithivraj Chavan attacked the Centre over what he claimed was “profiteering", and said a single order of vaccines for the entire nation was a must.
“Who is responsible for the profiteering? No other nation has done this where people have to pay Rs 1,200 per dose (of COVID-19 vaccine). Instead of asking states and municipalities to procure vaccines, the central government should purchase vaccines through one order for the entire nation and then sell them or distribute to states," the former chief minister said. He said 6.5 crore vaccine doses were exported, “when we should have kept them for our own people".