On the occasion of DMAs (Delhi Medical Association) 62nd Annual Delhi State Medical Conference (MEDICON 2021) in collaboration with Dharamshila Narayan Hospital on Sunday, 7 March, 2021, at hotel The Lalit, New Delhi, Dr Harsh Vardhan was hailed as a beacon of hope for over a billion people during the world’s biggest health crisis in recent memory
At the event, Dr Harsh Vardhan noted that under the leadership of PM Shri Narendra Modi, India emerged as the world’s pharmacy and that we had supplied 5.51 crore COVID-19 vaccines to 62 different countries.
Looking at the possibility of eradication of COVID-19 in India, he said, “We are in the end game of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and to succeed at this stage, we need to follow three steps: Keep politics out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive. Trust the science behind COVID-19 vaccines. Ensure our near and dear ones get vaccinated on time.”
India’s neighbourhood first policy, Vasudev Katumbakam and Vishwa Guru, instead of home first and then the neighbourhood, led us to the stage where the gap between two doses of Covishield was 4 weeks, then 6–8 weeks and now 12 weeks. Is it because of a shortage of vaccine?
What’s the use of ensuring near and dear ones get vaccinated with only the first dose and then wait for such a long time doing nothing in fear of contracting COVID and removing the anxiety by eating dark chocolate (Health minister advises to eat dark chocolate to deal with stress caused by pandemic)? In 4 months after the launch of its vaccination programme, India has managed to fully inoculate just 3% of its citizens, while 10% of the people have received one shot each.
What was the use of “Vaccine Maitri” when people in India could not get the vaccine? If it were for Vasudev Katumbakam or Vishwa Guru, we should have vaccinated most of our country. Now, Bangladesh has received five lakh doses of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine as a gift in the backdrop of not getting the vaccine from India.
Had we administered the vaccine to our people, it would have been our time to distribute it. We were aware of the second wave, but we did nothing. Media reports suggest that the public and private infrastructure in UP began crumbling by mid-April, just when the second wave began.
Newspapers are full of reports of shortage and black marketing of drugs like Remdesivir and pieces of equipment like oximeter, even in big cities. Hospital beds were already unavailable by the third week of April. The wrong decision has taken us to this time with 4000 deaths every day.
Under Modi government, India is becoming a global leader in medicine.
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 13, 2021
The self-proclaimed victory of Dr Harsh Vardhan and his way of replying to former PM Manmohan Singh started a war of letters amid the Covid crisis. Was it not political then? Moreover, the behaviour of the states of not helping each other. Patients from Andhra Pradesh are not allowed entry to Telangana despite the permission of the hospital to admit them.
This should now be kept in mind by the Government, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”