Mamata writes to PM Modi, calls for 'liberal' import of vaccines
Kolkata: Stating that "liberal, pro-active and discerning import of vaccination is the paramount need" of the hour when "only a microscopic percentage of people" have received the same, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to speed up imports of Covid vaccines from global manufacturers and also offered land along with necessary support for global or Indian companies to set up vaccine manufacturing unit in Bengal.
"Reports indicate that globally there are many manufacturers now. With the aid of scientists and experts, it is possible to identify the reputed and authentic manufacturers who have international reputation and credibility, and it is possible for us in this country to speedily import vaccines from those ends across the different parts of the world. I urge you to embark upon the endeavour without any further delay. Liberal, proactive and discerning import of vaccination is the paramount need today," Banerjee wrote to the Prime Minister mentioning that "about 10 crore people in West Bengal and 140 crore people in the country need vaccination, here and now, but only a microscopic percentage has been covered."
This is the fifth letter of the Chief Minister to Modi after being sworn in for the third consecutive term as the Chief Minister of this state. Four letters were sent in connection with the fight against Covid in which she had repeatedly mentioned the need for the Centre's assistance in getting an adequate number of vaccines, essential drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab and sufficient supply of oxygen.
It needs a special mention that the Chief Minister had stated in a Press conference couple of days ago that the Centre provided only 1 lakh doses of vaccines when the state government had sought for 3 crore doses.
In Wednesday's letter, Banerjee also urged the Prime Minister to consider and encourage "the world players to open up franchise operations in our country". She further stated in her letter that "even national players could be inspired to go for the franchise mode for bulk production of vaccines" as "vaccination is now the real antidote to the prevailing Covid pandemic".
Taking a step ahead to support the augmentation of the supply of vaccines, she informed the Prime Minister that "we in West Bengal, are ready to provide land and support for any manufacturing/franchisee operation for authentic vaccine manufacturing".
She mentioned that "it seems, however, that the production (and hence, the supply and distribution) of vaccines in the country is extremely inadequate, and insignificant in the context of the massive needs of the people at large".
This comes when the Chief Minister has announced free of cost vaccination for everyone in the state.