Tamil Nadu

State’s explanation of vaccine wastage unacceptable: Stalin

M.K. Stali  

DMK president M.K. Stalin has said the explanation given by the Tamil Nadu government for wastage of COVID-19 vaccines is not acceptable. At a time when the State is facing a vaccine shortage, the news of Tamil Nadu topping the list in wastage comes as a shock, he said in a statement on Wednesday.

He alleged that the AIADMK government was handling the second wave of COVID-19 carelessly as it did the first wave. He also voiced concern over the report that the Union government had diverted oxygen from Tamil Nadu to other States without consulting either the Chief Secretary or the “caretaker government”.

Mr. Stalin wondered whether oxygen shortage was due to the careless attitude of the BJP government at the Centre or its administrative failure. The current situation also raised a question whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi was only bothered about the Tamil Nadu and West Bengal elections and not the pandemic, he said.

It was said Mr. Modi was an efficient administrator; if so, why did he fail to handle the pandemic properly, Mr. Stalin asked.

The DMK president urged the State government to take urgent measures to stop vaccine wastage and ensure an adequate supply of oxygen. He also urged the Centre and the State to hold meetings and handle the situation effectively.

Shock over pricing

Mr. Stalin expressed shock over Serum Institute of India’s announcement that it would offer its Covishield vaccine at ₹400 a dose to the State governments, compared with ₹150 to the Centre. (Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla has clarified that the price will be ₹400 a dose for the Centre as well as the States.)

Mr. Stalin said the pricing would affect all the States. He said the finances of the States, including those of Tamil Nadu, had already been stressed, and they could not incur a higher vaccine cost. He urged the Centre to ensure that the vaccine-makers supplied at the same rate to both the Centre and the States. He demanded that the Centre allocate funds to the States to buy the vaccines.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 10:14:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/states-explanation-of-vaccine-wastage-unacceptable-stalin/article34380034.ece

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