There are no tests, oxygen or beds in hospitals. PM-CARES?: Rahul

BJP accuses Congress leader of “full-time lobbying for pharma companies making foreign vaccines”

Published - April 15, 2021 05:13 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called the tika utsav [vaccination festival] a ‘sham’ and questioned the government on the use of PM-CARES fund in tackling the second wave .

Mr. Gandhi alleged that neither testing was being done nor hospital beds, ventilators and oxygen were available.

Separately, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra posted a photo of the Uttar Pradesh authorities covering up a Lucknow cremation ground by placing tin sheets and asked the “government not to hide the corona deaths”.

“There are no tests or beds in hospitals. There are no ventilators or oxygen. The vaccine is also not there. But there is a sham of a festival. PM-CARES?” he asked.

Mr. Gandhi has been critical of the government’s handling of the second wave and had written to the Prime Minister on April 8, asking the government to open up vaccination to “whoever needs it”.

To scale up vaccination efforts, Mr. Gandhi suggested the government provide necessary resources to vaccine suppliers to increase manufacturing capacity, fast track approval of other vaccines as per norms and guidelines and open up vaccination to everyone who needs it.

Hitting out at Mr. Gandhi, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had accused the Congress leader of “full-time lobbying for pharma companies making foreign vaccines”.

The Congress, however, claimed credit as the Narendra Modi government approved the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, and gave in principle approval to other vaccines being administered abroad.

The Congress leader’s renewed attack came as India witnessed its highest single-day rise of 2,00,739 COVID-19 infections and 1,038 deaths.

“One request to the U.P. government: don’t waste your time, resources and energies in trying to hide and suppress this tragedy,” Ms. Vadra tweeted with a video of tin sheets being placed around the Baikunth cremation ground in Lucknow.

On Wednesday, there were several viral clips on social media showing a large number of bodies being cremated at this ground in Lucknow.

“Please take concrete steps to stop the pandemic, save lives and contain the spread of the virus. This is the need of the hour,” Ms. Vadra said.

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