States responsible for death registration, minister tells Rajya Sabha.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that much more could have been done to deal with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and much more needed to be done regarding a possible third wave .
In response to a discussion about the COVID-19 situation, Mr. Mandaviya criticized some MPs’ accusations that the Center was hiding true data on the number of deaths, saying states were responsible for recording deaths. The Center has only collected the data provided by the States, he said.
Mr Mandaviya responded as health minister for the first time since the cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, which saw Dr. Harsh Vardhan lost weight.
Listing the efforts made by the Center to increase oxygen supply during the second wave, the minister said the oxygen transport capacity had been increased to 10,000 metric tons.
“This is no small feat. I admit that there is still more to be done and we have a lot more to do in the coming days,” he said, calling on everyone to work together.
On vaccinations, the minister said there were many states that had 10-15 lakh doses of vaccine lying unused, while their representatives in the House asked the Center to speed up the drive. He said the Center informs states 15 days in advance of vaccine availability so that they have time to plan their vaccination campaigns.
He said it would not be appropriate to say that children would be more affected in the third wave. On the other hand, he said vaccine trials for children were underway.
In response to a question from TMC MP Derek O’Brien, Mr Mandaviya did not clarify what percentage of the population would be fully vaccinated by December 31, but instead said the government would aim to have every Indian as soon as possible. to vaccinate.
Earlier, opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge led the discussion on behalf of the opposition. He said the photos of bodies floating in the Ganges during the second wave had left an indelible impression. He also accused the government of severely underreporting the number of victims due to COVID. According to the official estimate, just over 5.5 lakh individuals died as a result of the pandemic.
“There are more than six lakh villages in India. Even if five people were to die from COVID in each of these villages, the total number of victims will exceed 30 lakh. Likewise, there are more than 7,000 cities and 18 metropolitan cities. If the deaths are recorded correctly, the cumulative figure will far exceed government estimates,” he said.
The government’s statement that it will vaccinate everyone by December is misguided, Mr Kharge said, as only 5.3% of the total population has received two doses so far. “At Modiji’s request, people clapped, clattered utensils, lit diyas and confined themselves to their homes. What did he do in return? He failed to meet all our expectations. Instead, he fired Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who is just a scapegoat for Prime Minister Modi’s own failures,” said Mr Kharge.
TMC MP Shantanu Sen also criticized the conduct of the BJP during the recent parliamentary elections.
“Tamil Nadu had polls for 234 congressional seats in one day. But West Bengal, where the BJP was vulnerable, with 294 seats in the Assembly, had polls in eight stages. The infection rate was 2.3% before the polls, but after eight phases it rose to 33%. Kudos to our CM, it’s now back below 1.8%,” said Mr. Sen.
On vaccination, he said the government has opened the floodgates of corruption by allowing variable prices for vaccines for the States and the Center.
BJP MP Dr. Anil Jain said that as a doctor himself, he could say that doctors were still learning about the disease. He said the pandemic had been a “blessing in disguise”, giving India the opportunity to set up production of N95 masks and other necessary items.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the prime minister had said “we need 21 days to win the war against COVID-19”.
“I want to ask the Minister of Health how many 21 days do you need? One health minister has already been made a scapegoat,” he said.
RJD MP Manoj K. Jha said he was speaking on behalf of the lakhs of people who had died. He said a right to health should be coupled with the right to life, making it difficult for hospitals to reject patients.
DMK MP Tiruchi Siva proposed to hand over to the state government the modern vaccine factory near Chennai, which lay unused. He said that the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, suggested the same to the Center two months ago. In his response, Mr Mandaviya said the suggestion is under investigation.
Referring to Dr. Harsh Vardhan, said Mr. O’Brien that he had “did his best for two years” and that he brought it up because Mr. Mandaviya’s answer did not mention his predecessor.