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Form panel to fix accountability for the deaths due to COVID-19: Congress

BHUBANESWAR, 21/10/ 2021: Konark Sun temple illuminated in the tri-colour as Archological Survey of India department celebrating 100 crore vaccination across the country marking a tribute to health professionals , frontline workers, scientists, vaccine manufacturers and other citizens those are involved in the Covid-19 pandemic period. Photo: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT  

The Congress on Thursday congratulated health sector workers for helping India achieve the milestone of administering 100 crore vaccine doses but posed a series question to the Narendra Modi Government and demanded an “impartial commission” to fix accountability of political leaders and officials whose “criminal negligence” has led to the deadly second wave of the pandemic.

At a press conference, chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said though the Government’s own figure has put COVID-19 deaths at 4.53 lakh, most independent surveys and assessments put the figure between 40 and 65 lakh deaths.

The Congress also asked for a fresh survey to ensure a wider coverage of compensation to all those who had lost their members during the pandemic.

Posing seven questions, he said an independent commission will not only fix accountability but can also make constructive suggestions regarding the health infrastructure in the future.

“All parties should be consulted to set up an impartial commission that will include health experts, an honourable Judge and all those who went out of their way to help fight corona. Many countries appointed such commissions…Is none responsible for the 4.53 lakh death that even Modiji admits to. Is none responsible for the 40 to 65 lakh deaths that independent surveys have talked about and published in the media. Were these people responsible for their own deaths?” asked Mr. Surjewala.

He said among the top 20 nations that have vaccinated their populations with both doses, India ranks 19th as only 21% of the eligible population has been covered. He said about 32 crore adults are yet to get any dose and about 42 crore are waiting for the second dose.

Among the other queries raised by the Congress were the delay in vaccinating children between 5 and 17 years, delay in getting a WHO recognition for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, delay in giving emergency approval to vaccines like Johnson and Johnson, ZyCOV-D and Novovax that are in the pipeline and a timeline for providing booster dose to those who are more vulnerable to contracting the virus, like frontline workers and the elderly population.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted, “A billion vaccinations is a landmark. But celebrations? Modi Govt. has abandoned it’s own target of fully vaccinating all adults by year end. Only 21% are fully vaccinated. Unless this reaches 2/3rd of India, dangers loom large. Accelerate vaccinations.”

CPI secretary D. Raja said, “Time has come now for public spending on health to go up and the Centre should ensure adequate supply of vaccines to State Governments so that people have access to vaccines.”


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 4:04:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/form-panel-to-fix-accountability-for-the-deaths-due-to-covid-19-congress/article37114970.ece

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