Shouldn't vaccine export be held back and priority given to our citizens: Sonia Gandhi accuses Centre of 'colossal mismanagement' in war against COVID-19

Amid the worsening situation of COVID-19 in India, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has attacked the Centre for its failure in handling the pandemic situation in the country.

The highest decision-making body of the Congress, chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi, met here virtually to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country and suggest measures to the government to tackle the crisis.

Addressing a press conference after the meet that lasted over two-and-a-half hours, Congress' senior spokesperson P Chidambaram said concrete suggestions made by CWC members would be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a letter by former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

"I have written to the Prime Minister after meeting with them. Our CMs have spoken to the Prime Minister and written to the concerned minister from time to time pleading for relief. Some of them were left with only a few days of vaccine, no oxygen or ventilators," she added.

India is currently witnessing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The highest-ever single-day spike of coronavirus cases was reported on Saturday with over 2.34 lakh new cases and more than 1,300 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Regarding vaccination, Gandhi urged the Centre to reduce the immunisation age limit to 25 years and above.

"It is true that after months of denial, the Centre has now given emergency use authorization for vaccines developed elsewhere. The government must also reconsider its priority for vaccine candidates by reducing immunization age to 25 years and above," she said.

She allaged that some other states of interests to the BJP have been receiving preferential treatment in terms of equipment etc.

Further she charged the Centre and said," Instead of listening to constructive suggestions of our party and other Opposition leaders, some Union Ministers have been pressured into service to attack Opposition leaders for giving suggestions." "This convoluted me vs you debate is completely childish," she added.

Over the vaccination shortages faced by some states the Chief asked India has already exported nearly 6.5 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries. Considering the highest infection rate in the world in our own country, shouldn't vaccine export be held back and priority given to our citizens?

Besides, she also expressed disappointment for charging GST on the medicines, injections, etc. "It is a matter of great concern that life-saving drugs like Remdesivir etc and medical oxygen and also other basic supplements are subjected to GST at 12%. Even basic equipment like oximeters & ventilators are subjected to 20% GST," she asserted.

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