CM to Centre: Not time for petty politics, buy vaccines for states
New Delhi: Amid an acute shortage of vaccines, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday asked the Centre to buy vaccines and distribute them to the state governments, and said this is not the time for blame game and petty politics.
Noting that the national Capital recorded around 900 new Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the chief minister stressed that if new infections continue to decline, more activities will be allowed to open up in the city.
Kejriwal said the AAP government "just wants vaccines" for Delhi and sought to know where is the politicisation in that. The chief minister also said till Friday, there were 450 cases of Mucormycosis or black fungus in Delhi government hospitals.
On Saturday, he visited the Delhi government's drive-through COVID-19 vaccination centre at the Chhatrasal Stadium. Asked about politicisation of the issue of vaccine procurement, Kejriwal said the Delhi government "want just vaccines".
"..where is the politicisation in this? The people need vaccines, they (Centre) should tell where should we get the vaccines from. The central government has to procure the vaccines, after doing so they should give them to us and we will administer them to everyone," he said. Stating that this is "not the time for petty politics or to play the blame game", he said vaccination is the only solution to this problem.
"This is not the time for finger-pointing. This is not the time for debate and counter. The country is suffering from a pandemic. The experience of the entire world shows that vaccination is the sole solution for this.
"So they (Centre) should buy vaccines for the entire country and distribute them to the state governments. We will administer them. Why are they debating over this is beyond my understanding," he said.
"Yesterday we announced that two activities — construction activities and factories — can be opened up because the poor such as migrant labourers have faced the most difficult time during the lockdown.
"Today, around 900 cases have emerged for the first time, I hope that as and when the cases keep on decreasing in the upcoming weeks, we will continue to unlock further. We want the economic activities to come back on track so that the economy can be revived," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal also asked the traders to not rush and panic and assured them that when the situation will ease, everything will be opened up.
"I can understand the troubles of the traders and I can understand their anxiety. I read in the newspapers that they are a bit upset. I want to tell them that it was with great difficulty that we were able to control the situation by imposing a lockdown.
"I can understand their difficulty but they should be patient and should not rush. We also want their markets and shops to open up and as and when the situation comes under control, we will open up everything," he said.
Kejriwal said there are about 450 cases of black fungus, according to data till Friday.
"I have black fungus data till yesterday. There are two kinds that of Delhi government and that of private hospitals and the central government hospitals on the other hand. "In the Delhi government hospitals, there are about 450 cases of black fungus. The central government hospitals are dealing directly with the Centre," he told reporters.
He said the Delhi government has demanded medicines accordingly.
"I understand that there is a countrywide paucity of medicines. The central government is giving whatever it can. As I understand, more injections of this medicine will be procured and will be distributed to all the state governments," he added.
The Delhi government has floated a global expression of interest (EOI) for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine on an urgent basis. He said the Delhi government is making all efforts from their side but "till now all the governments which floated a global tender, their outcomes have not been very fruitful".
On Saturday, Manipal Hospital conducted a vaccination drive in Dwarka area. The vaccination drive was conducted in collaboration with RWA, which took place from 9.30 am to 5pm.
About 154 were vaccinated in the drive, the hospital said.