Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday conducted a virtual meeting with the Chief Ministers of eight states and emphasized on the need of both safety and speed in vaccine distribution. All these states experienced a spurt in Covid-19 cases. The PM said the vaccine given to the citizens will be safe and on all scientific standards. He asked these states to work on cold storage facilities.
The Chief Ministers of eight worst-hit states – Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — had attended today’s meeting.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the PM made it clear that in the first stage, the vaccine will be given to the frontline health workers, secondly the vaccine will be distributed to police personnel, in the third stage, vaccine will be given to the citizens of age above 50 years and to those with co-morbid conditions in the fourth stage.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said his state has stopped the Rapid antigen tests as its results were often inaccurate. All Covid-19 tests being conducted in the state are RT-PCR and the number of cases touches a mark of 30,000 every day. Rajasthan is taking other precautions to contain the virus spread like law on mask usage, night curfew, restraint on gatherings etc.
Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao said the government is ready to administer and distribute the vaccine to people on a priority basis.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought PM’s intervention to control stubble burning in the neighbouring states which is responsible for increase in air pollution. He attributed the current surge in Covid-19 cases to increasing air pollution.
During the meeting, PM Modi lashed out at former Congress President Rahul Gandhi who was critical of the government over the vaccine recently. Without naming him, PM Modi accused him of playing politics. He said the government cannot decide when the vaccine will come. Scientists are working on this issue.