In a row between the centre and some states over vaccine stocks, Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today hit back at Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan over his comment that the capital had fallen short of vaccination targets. Delhi has four-five days of Covid shots left, city Health Minister Satyendra Jain said.
“Vaccinations have been 30 to 40 per cent less in central government hospitals, that is why Delhi’s average has come down,” Mr Jain said, responding to Harsh Vardhan’s comment on Delhi falling below the national average of inoculations.
Last evening, the Union Health Minister had rubbished Maharashtra’s vaccine shortage claim and had also hit out at demands by states like Maharashtra and Delhi for opening up vaccinations to more adults.
Among his arguments was that some of these states had failed to vaccinate all those eligible in targeted groups. In Delhi, he said, only 71.69 per cent healthcare workers had received the first dose as compared to the national average of 85.8 per cent and only 41.48 per cent healthcare workers have received the second dose as compared to the national average of 51.49.
“Doesn’t it seem evident that these states are trying to divert attention from their poor vaccination efforts by just continuously shifting the goal-posts? Politicizing such a public health issue is a damning indictment of certain political leaders who should know better,” said Harsh Vardhan in a statement.
Satyendra Jain said while the centre and states should be united in fighting the infection, the centre was busy blaming Delhi.
“We have not turned away anyone coming for vaccine. Even if Delhi’s vaccination level was 75 per cent and that in central hospitals was 30 per cent – that is not the issue. The issue is that we vaccinate people as soon as possible. There can be no fighting in that,” said the Delhi minister.
Delhi on Wednesday recorded 5,506 fresh Covid cases in the sharpest daily spike this year. This is the second straight day the cityi has seen a rise of over 5,000 cases. The positivity rate jumped to 6.1 per cent on Wednesday from 4.93 per cent the day before.
The highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases was recorded in Delhi on November 11.
India today reported 1,26,789 new cases in 24 hours, setting another grim record as the county battles the second wave of infections.