Kerala

Buy vaccines directly, Minister tells State

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan on Wednesday, said Kerala should use the Centre's new vaccine strategy to procure vaccines directly from manufacturers.

Kerala should also step forward to vaccinate citizens above the age of 18 freely. It should take its cue from Uttar Pradesh and Assam. The Petroleum and Explosive Organisation (PESO) has sufficient stock of medical oxygen to meet Kerala’s demand and then more, he said.

The Central government had delivered 62,42,833 doses to Kerala till April 21. Another six lakhs doses would reach State by April 25.

“The Kerala government still sought to blame the Centre for vaccine shortage,” he said.

He said the disparity between availability and allocation of COVID-19 vaccines had caused public order to break down at State-run inoculation centres in Kerala.

The Health Department had overreached itself.

It had allowed more citizens into vaccination centres without considering the number of shots it could administer.

“Kerala could deliver only less than 1 lakh doses a day. But it had invited double the number of citizens to State-run vaccination centres. The resultant anarchy turned the centres into virus transmission hubs,” he said.

He said the State’s political executive had gone on holiday after the elections. However, a warlike emergency gripped the country and State. The political leadership should take over the reins of COVID-19 management, he said.

Criticised

Mr. Muraleedharan drew sharp criticism from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for his comment. CPI(M) acting State secretary said Mr. Muraleedharan had no moral right to criticise the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government.

The administration had shielded the people from the ravages of the pandemic against long odds. Mr. Muraleedharan had not helped the State. Instead, he had only tried to tarnish Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and wreak political vengeance on the LDF. Mr. Muraleedharan was at the helm of the Centre’s relentless attempts to undermine the State government.

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said the Centre had failed to reach sufficient doses free of cost to State governments. It had failed in its duty to protect the people. The Centre's new vaccine policy had caused an uptick in vaccine price. The cost of a single dose has risen from ₹250 to ₹600. The Centre has opened the field for unscrupulous private sector players to make most of the dire situation, he said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 11, 2021 6:15:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/buy-vaccines-directly-minister-tells-state/article34377731.ece

Next Story