Harsh Vardhan replies to Manmohan Singh's letter to PM Modi
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Monday replied to the letter that former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had written to his successor, PM Narendra Modi, on the raging coronavirus crisis. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader tweeted that history would have been kinder to Singh, had his colleagues in Congress followed his advice during these "extraordinary times." Here's more on this.
In his letter, Singh suggested to PM Modi that expanding the vaccination drive is crucial for defeating the pandemic and added that the government must not look into absolute numbers but focus on the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated. One of his five remedies to handle the devastating wave is to make public the vaccine orders placed for six months.
Calling for less interference by the Centre, he wrote, "The central government could retain 10% for distribution based on emergency needs, but other than that, states should have a clear signal of likely availability so that they can plan their rollout." He suggested that states must be given the freedom to define frontline workers. He said the Centre must support vaccine producers to ramp up manufacturing units.
"Since domestic supplies are limited, any vaccine that has been cleared for use by credible authorities such as the European Medical Agency or the USFDA should be allowed to be imported without insisting on domestic bridging trials," he added.
Responding to Singh's letter, Harsh Vardhan wrote that while the ex-PM understands the importance of vaccines, many in Congress, evidently, don't. He highlighted that senior Congress members didn't appreciate the scientific community for developing a vaccine in record time. Instead, some of them, including a sitting Congress Chief Minister, incited people against a homegrown vaccine. Some even shamed the vaccines in public, he added.
"The irresponsible public pronouncements made by some of your leaders have resulted in a below national average vaccination coverage of senior citizens and even frontline workers in some of the Congress-ruled states," the Health Minister added.
On Singh's suggestion that India must quickly give approvals to vaccines that have been green-lit elsewhere, Harsh Vardhan drew attention to an earlier order regarding the same. "The same is the case with your suggestion regarding providing funds and other concessions to augment manufacturing. This decision has been taken many days before receipt of your letter," he went on.
History shall be kinder to you Dr Manmohan Singh ji if your offer of ‘constructive cooperation’ and valuable advice was followed by your @INCIndia leaders as well in such extraordinary times !— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) April 19, 2021
Here’s my reply to your letter to Hon’ble PM Sh @narendramodi ji 👍 @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/IJcz3aL2mo