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Coronavirus | Congress Working Committee to meet on COVID-19 crisis

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) will virtually meet on Saturday to discuss the second wave of COVID-19, party sources confirmed on Tuesday.

The party’s internal polls to elect a president by June may also come up for discussion. However, the prospect of holding a Congress session or mass gathering in the current scenario looks difficult.

The party’s highest decision making body will meet exactly a week after Congress president Sonia Gandhi had met the Chief Ministers of the party-ruled States and senior Ministers of Maharashtra and Jharkhand governments where the Congress is part of the ruling alliance.

Apart from Maharashtra, Congress-ruled Punjab and Chhattisgarh are also among the States that have witnessed a sharp spike in the number of cases.

On Monday, Ms. Gandhi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which she had asked the government to open up vaccination by giving permission to all the vaccine candidates or vaccines that are in use in other countries.

She also suggested that vaccines be given to those who need it based on their exposure rather than the current age criterion.

"While it will be necessary on one hand to substantially ramp up our domestic production capacity, it will also be prudent to allow emergency use authorisation of all the vaccine candidates that have the required clearances, without any further delay. Accordingly, with enhanced availability, categories eligible for vaccination should be expanded on the basis of need and exposure rather than just age,” Ms. Gandhi had mentioned in her letter.

“In the same vein, the numbers allocated to a State has to be based on the prevalence and projection of infection in that particular State," she added, noting that some States have vaccines availability only for three to five days.

As several State governments have started to re-impose stricter COVID norms and restrictions on movement, Ms Gandhi appealed to Mr Modi to consider putting in place a minimum monthly guaranteed income scheme of ₹6,000 for every eligible family. The Congress chief also asked for exemption from Goods and Services Tax (GST) for all equipment, instruments and medicines used in the fight against the pandemic.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 8:04:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-working-committee-to-meet-on-covid-crisis/article34314301.ece

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