Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray declared that his state is not delaying in the fight against Covid-19 during his interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also urged the Prime Minister to request all leaders to refrain from indulging in politics as India fights with a fresh wave of infections.
He made this remark amid a struggle between the Maharashtra government and Centre following allegations from several leaders of his party about the shortage of vaccines in the worst-hit state. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan strongly criticised Maharashtra’s efforts to fight Covid in a statement on Wednesday, saying that the state has “singularly bogged down” the whole country’s effort to resist the pandemic.
While the Maharashtra CMO said that Thackeray told PM Modi that his state has achieved in keeping the virus in check, but the gram panchayat elections and marriage events resulted in the expanse of the disease.
“There was a sudden spike in Vidarbha and the spread was rapid. There was a virus mutation when the situation was being normalised,” he told PM Modi. He said Maharashtra has raised the number of daily tests and asked for additional vaccine doses. He also asked PM’s help in getting oxygen and ventilators from other states.
Thackeray also urged the Prime Minister to approve the proposal of the Haffkine Institute to produce anti-coronavirus vaccine.
Through the meeting, the union health secretary showed content that out of the total tests conducted, 71 per cent were RT-PCR tests and 28 per cent rapid antigen tests, and requested the numbers to be increased, the statement said. He added that the state government tries to complete vaccination of 1.77 crore population in the preference list, for which 40 lakh vaccine doses are required per week.
The state has received about 1,06,23,500 doses, out of which 92 lakh to 95 lakh have been applied. But the stocks have dried up and many vaccine centres have been shut. He said that the Centre has assured supply of 17.43 lakh doses after April 15, but then there would be an interruption in the vaccine program.
He restated the demand for lowering the vaccination age limit to 25 years.
Thackeray also sought the supply of anti-viral drug redeliver, oxygen and ventilators. He said that in the last three days, over two lakh tests were carried daily, out of which 1.25 lakh were RT- PCR.
Maharashtra has been leading India’s continuous Covid wave over the last few weeks.
The country reported 56,286 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, which took its caseload to 32,29,547, while 376 deaths due to the virus drove the toll to 57,028, the health department said.