Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has slammed the Centre saying that the discrimination was not merely in the vaccine distribution but also in N95 mask, PPE kits and ventilators to Maharashtra. Chavan’s statement came at a time when the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi ministers and the Central ministers were engaged in a war of words over the Covid-19 vaccine supply.
“Central government discriminated in distribution of critical medical equipment to Maharashtra. Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh received lion’s share of N95 masks, PPE kits and ventilators despite having less case load compared to Maharashtra,’’ said Chavan. He further said that in the face of the current controversy between the Centre and the Maharashtra government on the availability of the Covid-19 vaccines, information by the Centre confirms lopsided and politically biased distribution of critical medical equipment.
According to Chavan, the state health minister Rajesh Tope has said that Maharashtra has the highest Covid-19 caseload, but the state is facing step-motherly treatment from the Centre in supply of vaccines. “This is not only limited to the distribution of vaccines, but as can be seen in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha, in which the Centre has given details of the quantities of critical medical equipment supplied to each state as of February 10, 2021. Gujarat has received 9623 N95 masks, 4951 PPE kits and 13 ventilators, UP 3916, 2446 and 7, West Bengal 3214, 848 and 2, Tamil Nadu 2213, 639 and 2 while Maharashtra has got only 1560 N 95 masks, 723 PPE kits and 2 ventilators. The Kerala has got 814, 192 and 1,’’ he noted.
“As per a reply in Lok Sabha, in all the categories, Gujarat was given the lion’s share of supply of medical equipment which is disproportionate to caseload,’’ said Chavan.
“What is this if not discrimination. The PM seems to be forgetting that he is the PM of the entire country and not just Gujarat, UP and other BJP ruled states,’’ noted Chavan.