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Sonia urges Congress workers to ensure maximum vaccination

Congress president Sonia Gandhi. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday asked party colleagues to play an active role in ensuring vaccination coverage of 75 % of India’s population by the year end and also address the issue of hesitancy with regard to COVID-19 vaccines.

Following a virtual meeting of the general secretaries and All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charges of various States with Ms. Gandhi, the party has decided to step up its COVID-19 outreach programme by visiting over 3 crore households across 736 districts in a span of 30 days.

From July 1 to 17, the Congress will also hold protests against rising prices of petrol and diesel as well as food items by taking out protest marches, cycle yatras and singature campaign at petorlm pumps, general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal said.

Addressing the AICC office bearers, Ms. Gandhi said experts had pointed to the possibility of a third wave in a few months and the vulnerability of the children in such a scenario.

“The second wave these past four months has been devastating for lakhs and lakhs of families all over the country. We must learn from this traumatic experience so that we do not have to experience it yet again,” Ms. Gandhi said.

‘Share white paper’

The Congress chief urged party leaders to disseminate the party’s white paper (released on June 22) that not only details the “failure” of the Narendra Modi government in handling the pandemic but also offers suggestions in aggressively vaccinating the majority of the adult population in the shortest possible time.

“At the national level, the daily rate of vaccination has to treble so that 75% of our population gets fully vaccinated by end of this year. No doubt, this is dependent entirely on the adequacy of vaccine supply. We must continue to put pressure on the Union government which has, at our Party's insistence, finally taken on the responsibility for this. At the same time, we have to ensure that registration takes place, that vaccine hesitancy wherever evident is overcome and vaccine wastage is minimised,” she said.

Rising prices

Ms. Gandhi also talked about the ‘intolerable’ burden placed on the people because of the rising fuel prices and the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities like pulses and edible oils that affect millions.

“This price rise is taking place at a time when livelihoods are being lost in unprecedented numbers, when there is mounting unemployment and when economic recovery is not a reality,” she said.

Each general secretary and State in-charge referred to the COVID relief measures undertaken in their States, with general secretary for Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, briefing her colleagues about work in the State. From providing government approved medicines kits to collecting data about COVID deaths, and children orphaned by the pandemic, the State unit has been directed to aggressively undertake the COVID outreach programme.

Dinesh Gundu Rao, the in-charge for Goa, suggested that Rahul Gandhi should tour election bound States much in advance instead of closer to elections.


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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 5:11:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sonia-gandhi-asks-congressmen-to-work-to-address-vaccine-hesitancy/article34944103.ece

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