Other States

HC grills U.P. govt. on vaccination timelines

The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise it on how it proposed to “expedite” the purchase of vaccines from global markets, and asked it to find ways and means to ensure the immediate procurement of vaccines so that all citizens in the State could get vaccinated with complete doses within 3-4 months.

The court’s instructions came after the State government’s counsel submitted before the Division Bench that the government had already floated global tenders for vaccines.

Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar said the tender was a long-drawn process and if the State ran late in vaccinating large number of populations “we may lose the real desired result of vaccination as the virus may achieve such mutations which may neutralise the vaccine also”.

Since large numbers of people were getting infected every day and scientists were of the view that a third wave was almost at India’s doorstep of India, “it is necessary that that the Government should enter into direct dialogue with vaccine producers with the help of Indian Diplomats in those countries,” the court said. “We must remember that in the context of Covid-19 virus unless every individual is protected, no one is safe,” the judges noted.

S.P. Singh, Additional Solicitor General of India informed the court that available vaccines of Coxavin and Covishield were available to the tune of 8.5 crore for the month of May, while 1.5 lakh Sputnik Covid vaccines had already arrived in India from Russia till now.

Meanwhile, the State Election Commission submitted before the court that at least 77 persons in 28 districts had died while on duty as polling agents in the recently-concluded Panchayat polls. Reports from other districts were still awaited, the State Election Commission counsel Tarun Agarwal said, adding that the State government had decided to provide a compensation of ₹30 lakh to the family members of the deceased polling officers.

The court also directed the Additional Advocate General of U.P. Manish Goyal to apprise it on May 11 as to how the State government was dealing with the surge of the pandemic in rural and sub-urban areas and smaller cities.

Anuj Singh, an advocate appearing in the PIL hearing, informed the court that the surge of the pandemic was now being seen in rural areas too and the situation had alarmingly worsened for want of proper medical care. Mr. Singh also argued that in those districts where medical health infrastructure was weak, a large number of deaths were reported, but since the focus of the government in the recent past had been towards the major cities, the smaller districts and cities were ignored.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 3:17:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hc-grills-up-govt-on-vaccination-timelines/article34510342.ece

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