Congress MP Manish Tewari on Tuesday slammed Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan over his "obtuse" remark on COVID-19 vaccination for all. "This is the most obtuse gibberish. Only a Bureaucrat can say it with a masked straight face," Tewari wrote on Twitter. "Does Virus have an age distinguishing vector coded into its genome sequence? Do young not deserve protection when you are exporting the vaccine to everybody and their grandmother," he added.
Bhushan had earlier suggested that the Centre isn't yet ready to open vaccination for all age groups. He had said that the aim is not to administer the vaccine to those who want it but to those who need it. "Many people ask why shouldn't we open vaccination for all. There are two aims of such vaccination drives -- to prevent deaths & protect healthcare system. The aim is not to administer the vaccine to those who want it but to those who need it," the Union Health Secretary had said.
Bhushan also added that the Union Health Ministry has sent 50 high-level multidisciplinary public health teams in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh & Punjab. "They will be going to 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh, & 9 districts of Punjab," he said.
The Health Ministry also suggested the state governments to increase RT-PCR tests, "which is reducing in Maharashtra in last few weeks". "Only 60% of total tests were done through RT-PCR method in Maharashtra last week. We suggest states to take it to 70% or above," Bhushan said.
He added that the rising COVID-19 cases and deaths in Chhattisgarh is a "cause of concern". "Despite being a small state, it reports 6% of total COVID cases & 3% of total deaths in the country. The condition of Chhattisgarh has deteriorated in the second wave of infections," he said.
"Around 4.5% of deaths due to COVID are being reported in Punjab. Compared to Punjab, active cases & death toll are very low in Delhi & Haryana. It is satisfactory that share of RT-PCR tests in average daily tests has increased to 76% in Punjab," Bhushan added.