The focus of the Maharashtra state government seems to have shifted from fighting the rise in cases of COVID-19 to fighting the Centre. This comes at a time when the state of Maharashtra reported 56,286 new Covid-19 cases, contributing 60% to the nation’s tally.
In an intensified fight between the state and the Centre, Maharashtra’s health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday alleged that the Centre is not supplying enough vaccines despite the state being worst hit by new cases of the Chinese virus.
Tope said that the supplies are not enough as the state needs at least 40 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine per week and 1.6 crore doses per month. “The Centre is not helping Maharashtra as much as it should. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana etc.- states ruled by the BJP— have been given far more vaccines than Maharashtra,” alleged Tope. He informed that there is a shortage of the vaccines and that the state is now left with only 14 lakh doses, which would last not more than 3 days.
Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray too complained about the lack of support from the Centre. In a tweet addressing the Prime Minister, he informed about the depletion of stock and demanded that the stock of vaccine doses in the pipeline should be sent at once without any further delay.
हाफकिनला लस उत्पादन करण्यासाठी राज्य शासनाने पाठवलेल्या प्रस्तावाला लवकर मान्यता द्यावी. त्यामुळे लसीकरणाला वेग मिळेल— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) April 8, 2021
१५ एप्रिलनंतर १७.४३ लाख डोसेस देण्यात येतील असे केंद्र सरकारकडून सांगण्यात आले असले तरी आमच्या मागणीप्रमाणे एकदमच पूर्ण वितरण व्हावे.
In the purview of this, as many as 51 vaccination centers out of 120 have been shut in the city of Mumbai as the vaccine stocks at these centers have been exhausted, as per a Times of India report.
Assistant Commissioner of the G/North Ward of the BMC, shared a list of vaccination centres that will remain shut in the city today. The list that he shared on Twitter included major centres like BKC Jumbo facility, Dahisar Jumbo facility, SevenHills hospital and Cooper hospital.
Vaccination centres which will be operational in #mumbai on 9 April 2021— KIRAN DIGHAVKAR (@DighavkarKiran) April 8, 2021
However due to limited stock this might exhaust at early n few centre will be declared out of stock.
However no worries all centre will start with full capacity asap.
Centres marked red will be closed 2mrw. pic.twitter.com/VGCOWu6kDi
However, the Centre has slammed the state government for complete mismanagement and failure to create robust infrastructure in the state. Despite giving assurance that the vaccine stock will be replenished on time, the state government is adamant on receiving the doses in advance.
In reply to the claims of the state government, Union minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar alleged that five lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were wasted in Maharashtra due to a lack of planning by the state government.
“I want to make it clear that the Maharashtra government has 23 lakh doses of the vaccines with it….which is a stock for five to six days. Now, to distribute in villages and districts is the responsibility of the state government,” Javadekar said while addressing a press conference at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office.
In a rebuttal to the Maharashtra government’s claim of shortage of vaccines, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has also issued a clarification. He tweeted, “Hue & cry by certain States about partisanship by the Union Govt is just a farce, an attempt to hide their own incompetence. Maharashtra and Rajasthan are 2 of the top 3 States based on allocation of #COVID19 Vaccine doses. Both are non-BJP governed States.”
Hue & cry by certain States about partisanship by the Union Govt is just a farce, an attempt to hide their own incompetence.— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) April 8, 2021
Maharashtra and Rajasthan are 2 of the top 3 States based on allocation of #COVID19Vaccine doses.
Both are non-BJP governed States. pic.twitter.com/ycrBcdJBXG
A graphic attached in the tweet reveals that the state of Maharashtra has received 1,06,19,190 doses, which is the highest number of Covid-19 vaccine doses, constituting almost 10% of the total country’s supply. Gujarat and Rajasthan have received 1,05,19,330 and 1,04,95,860 doses respectively.
In a follow-up tweet, he urged certain state governments to not create panic by spreading misinformation. His tweet read, “Let’s put an end to fear mongering now! #COVID19 Vaccine doses: Total administered: 9 cr+, in stock/nearing delivery to states: 4.3 cr+. Where does question of shortages arise? We’re continuously monitoring & enhancing supply”
Let’s put an end to fear mongering now!#COVID19Vaccine doses:— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) April 8, 2021
Total administered: 9 cr+
In stock/nearing delivery to states: 4.3 cr+
Where does question of shortages arise?
We’re continuously monitoring & enhancing supply pic.twitter.com/NllmH3kifQ
A comprehensive chart released by the Times of India on Thursday revealed that the state of Maharashtra has 15 lakh vaccine doses left in the stock, while it is scheduled to receive 19.4 lakh more doses. Some Twitter users took to the social media platform to question the state government’s decision to shut vaccination centers despite having enough vaccines in stock.
The chart clearly reflects that the state has enough stocks for 4 days and with additional doses in pipeline it has stock for 9 days.
With Maharashtra breaking all the previous records and registering highest spike in cases on a daily basis, shutting down of vaccination centers is only going to make matters worse for the state.