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West Bengal: TMC’s Katwa MLA, others take coronavirus vaccine out of turn

This is despite the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clarified that the public representatives should allow the frontline workers to get vaccinated, instead of using their influence to jump the queue.

On Saturday, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs flouted government protocol to get vaccinated against Coronavirus in Burdwan in West Bengal, despite being well aware that the vaccines were meant for frontline workers only.

As per reports, TMC politicians, namely, Rabindranath Chatterjee and Subhash Mondol, went out of turn to get inoculated while several healthcare workers, risking their lives amidst the pandemic, failed to get the shots.

While Katwa MLA Rabindranath Chatterjee took the jab on the very first day in Katwa subdivision hospital, another TMC MLA from Bhatar, Subhash Mondol, got vaccinated at the Bhatar Regional Hospital. Besides the duo, ex MLA MLA Banmali Hazra, Zila Parishad member Zahar Bagdi, and public health in-charge of Bhatar Panchayat Samiti namely Mahendra Hazar were also inoculated.

(Video Courtesy: Youtube/India Today)

This is despite the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clarified that the public representatives should allow the frontline workers to get vaccinated, instead of using their influence to jump the queue. While speaking about the incident, Chatterjee said, “I just took the vaccine… Everyone will get the opportunity to do so. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is ensuring that everyone gets the vaccine. In the first round, 100 people will get vaccinated and later a mass immunisation programme will be conducted.”

TMC MLAs deprive health workers of vaccination

As a result of the high-handedness of the ruling Trinamool Congress party, a nurse from Bardhaman Medical College lamented that she was not vaccinated, although she was called for the same. Similar allegations have also been levelled, under the condition of anonymity, by several other nurses in the hospital. However, the Chief Medical Officer of the district, Pranab Rai, claimed that the said MLAs were part of Rogi Kalyan Committee and were eligible for the first round of vaccination.

BJP condemns high-handedness of Trinamool Congress

While condemning the incident, BJP National General Secretary referred to the incident as loot. “Coronavirus vaccine has been looted. The Prime Minister of the country sent the vaccine for Coronavirus warriors, health workers and frontline workers. But in West Bengal TMC MLAs and their goons forcibly took the vaccine.” He further added, “Shame on Mamata Banerjee for claiming that PM sent fewer vaccines.”

Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said that it would have been better if the party MLAs had not taken the vaccines. Interestingly, another TMC MLA from Alipurduars, Saurabh Chakraborty, had his name on the top of the list of individuals who were supposed to be vaccinated. In his defence, he said, “I am not getting any vaccine right now and I have informed the health department about it.”

PM Modi launches Coronavirus vaccination drive

PM Narendra Modi launched the world’s biggest inoculation drive in the country today at 10:30 am via video conferencing. The COVID-19 vaccination drive has been planned in a phased manner, identifying priority groups. The first phase of India’s coronavirus vaccination drive started at 11 am across several cities in India and ended at 5:30 pm.

In the first phase of the vaccination drive, around 3 crore frontline workers including doctors, healthcare workers, Safai Karamcharis etc will be given the vaccine. After that, people above 50 years of age, and people below 50 with co-morbidities, estimated around 27 crore, will be selected for vaccination. Therefore, around 30 crore people will be vaccinated in this round.

According to the Health Ministry, by the end of day-1 of the coronavirus inoculation drive, 1,91,181 beneficiaries were vaccinated at 3,352 sites in the country. In a press briefing, Additional Health Secretary M Agnani added that 16,755 personnel were involved in the drive.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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