Responding to a thunderous attack by the opposition on the handling of the ongoing Chinese virus pandemic, newly appointed Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya spelt every detail on the Centre’s response to the crisis in the monsoon session.
Mandaviya’s well-received speech encompassed replies to every attack made by the opposition. When the opposition chose to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his ‘taali-thaali’ initiative after more than a year, Mandaviya said, “Before being a minister, I’m a father. My daughter worked as an intern doctor in COVID ward. She told me that she would work in that ward itself and she continued. At that time I realised the importance of ‘thaali-taali’, it gave us courage.”
Before being a minister, I’m a father. My daughter worked as an intern doctor in COVID ward. She told me that she would work in that ward itself and she continued. At that time I realised the importance of ‘thaali-taali’, it gave us courage: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya pic.twitter.com/dN773seDjc— ANI (@ANI) July 20, 2021
His anecdote also garnered support and praise from netizens on social media platforms.
“Instructed to not politicize the crisis”
Mandaviya, visibly upset with the opposition’s attempt to politicize the Covid-19 pandemic revealed they have received strict instructions from PM Modi to not fan this further. “Our govt has always said that this crisis shouldn’t become a reason for politics. There shouldn’t be politics in this crisis,” he said.
“Even if the opposition politicizes the crisis we should not participate in it,” Mandaviya relayed Modi’s message.
Our govt has always said that this crisis shouldn’t become a reason for politics. There shouldn’t be politics in this crisis…PM Modi has said that when 130 cr people of India take one step forward, the country can move forward by 130 cr steps: Health Min Mansukh Mandaviya in RS pic.twitter.com/Sy5ZzUc0Gc— ANI (@ANI) July 20, 2021
Refraining from taking names, Mandaviya said that there were enough political parties and Chief Ministers who took all the credit for good work but dumped the blame on Centre and PM Modi when something went amiss.
He also highlighted, “when Centre was overlooking the strategies, states said that health is a state subject and the decision making must go to them including procurement of vaccines.” However, when the strategy collapse they quickly shifted the blame on Centre, said Mandaviya.
He also apprised the floor of the fact that PM Modi had chaired at least 20 meetings with the states and relevant representatives to overview the situation. Talking about the support to boost vaccine research, production and distribution Mandaviya said that he as a former Pharmaceutical Minister and PM Modi both met the scientists, the medical fraternity and company representatives personally to assure complete backing and financial aid.
“We all should be proud”
Amused by the name-calling by the opposition inside and outside of the parliament, Mandaviya said that it is for all of us to take pride in these achievements.
He questioned the opposition as to why they were adamant about importing vaccines that are available at higher costs than domestic vaccines. He then went on to inform about India’s efforts from April 2020 to make the country self-reliant and not depend on a foreign country for vaccines as it could have been catastrophic.
He also said that India will soon be the first country to have a DNA-based vaccine. Mandaviya for the benefit of the parliamentarians listed the indigenous companies engrossed in ramping up the production and availability of the vaccines.
Rebutting oppositions allegations on ‘vaccines kahan hai’ Mandaviya without disclosing names said, “Some of them who questioned about non-availability of vaccines have 10-15 lakh doses still in stock for their state at the moment.”
He informed that the states are intimidated 15 days prior about the next batch of vaccine doses giving them ample time to plan and strategize. “If at one centre only 200 doses can be made available by you but you call 400-600 people and cry no vaccines are available then it is not our fault,” exclaimed Mandaviya.
“Getting 11-12 crore doses of Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine per month. Bharat Biotech is to supply 3.5 crore doses of its COVID vaccine in August,” Mandaviya said in the Rajya Sabha.
Responding to allegations made by the opposition on shortage of oxygen and medicines, Mandaviya highlighted how the entire ecosystem including private companies, NGOs, defence forces and railways came together to mitigate the shortage caused due to a sudden spike in demand.
“Centre did not ask the states to record less deaths”
Rebutting oppositions attack of underreporting Covid-19 cases and deaths, Mandaviya made it clear that it is the responsibility of the state to record the cases and deaths. “The Centre only compiles the data and publishes it. Why would we ask the states to underreport? In fact, PM Modi insisted that the states must add the backlog too,” said Mandaviya.
“Preparations being made to tackle the third wave”
“A country is made by the states and it is the duty of all states to come together and take the nation forward,” said Mandaviya.
Detailing the preparatory work being done by the Centre in collaboration with states, Mandaviya informed that 316 out of 1573 PSAs commissioned are functional, work towards setting up paediatric wards in every district along with community health centres is in full force, availability of ambulance and ventilators has also been taken care of.
Mandaviya’s speech was appreciated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah who took to Twitter to urge people to watch the informative piece.
आज केंद्रीय स्वास्थ्य मंत्री श्री @mansukhmandviya जी ने राज्य सभा में कोरोना महामारी व उससे जुड़े विभिन्न पहलुओं पर मोदी सरकार द्वारा उठाये गए कदमों को बहुत ही सरलता व विस्तार से देश की जनता के सामने रखा।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) July 20, 2021
सभी उनके इस संवेदनशील भाषण को अवश्य सुनें।https://t.co/c5bnJgShn0
Not just Mandaviya but Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri also attacked the opposition for its vile attempt to fuel vaccine hesitancy and act nothing but as an obstacle in this unprecedented crisis.