The deputy chief minister of Delhi also claimed that the BJP’s allegations of the Delhi government ordering only 5.50 lakh doses of vaccines is incorrect as the government had placed orders for 1.34 crore doses to vaccinate those above 18 years of age.
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia once again hit out at the Centre on Monday for exporting Covid-19 vaccines to the country at a time when a resurgent second wave has affected lakhs of people in the country. The experts were conducted as part of the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative of the government.
“In what greed were 6.50 crore vaccines supplied to foreign countries when people in our own country are dying?” Sisodia said at a press conference.
The deputy chief minister of Delhi also claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) allegations of the Delhi government ordering only 5.50 lakh doses of vaccines is incorrect as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had placed orders directly with the two vaccine manufacturers in the country for 1.34 crore doses to vaccinate those above 18 years of age.
“Today BJP alleged that Delhi govt ordered only 5.50 lakh doses of vaccine. The Government of India decided in April that the two companies can sell vaccines to states directly, states were also told the same. We ordered 1.34 crore doses for Delhi for people above 18 years,” Sisodia further said.
Sisodia alleged that after the Delhi government placed orders for vaccines with manufacturing companies, the Centre stepped in to inform the government that Delhi would be receiving only 92,840 doses of Covaxin and 2,67,690 doses of Covishield to inoculate its citizens.
“Right after our order, Centre sent us a letter – vaccine companies hadn’t responded by then – that Delhi can get only 92,840 doses of Covaxin and 2,67,690 doses of Covishield in May,” said Sisodia.
“BJP is lying that we ordered only 5.50 lakh doses. We had ordered 1.34 crore doses,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain told reporters that the national capital is left with only a day’s worth of Covaxin stock. Delhi had received 1,50,000 doses of Covaxin for inoculating those within 18-45 years of age, and after administering 1,02,020 doses till Monday morning only 47,980 doses are available on hand, he said. The national capital’s stock of Covishield is expected to last for 3-4 days more, the minister added.
Both Jain and Sisodia’s remarks came a day after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s letter to Union minister Harsh Vardhan urging an increase in vaccine supply to the capital between May-July.
Earlier on Monday, the BJP had slammed Arvind Kejriwal government over the Covid-19 crisis, claiming the chief minister has been busy spending crores on publicity and “misleading” people while washing his hands of responsibility and leaving everything to the Centre.
Addressing a virtual press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra cited a RTI reply to say that the Kejriwal government has spent around ₹805 crore on advertisements since 2015 but not opened a single new hospital in the city.