As India continues to battle the second wave of the raging Covid-19 pandemic, a negligent government that failed to order vaccines on time while the rest of the world had done so six months earlier, is now scrambling to make up for the fiasco.
Part of the strategy to contain the virus has been to increase the pace and extent of the vaccination program underway in the country, has been to procure and permit the use of various vaccines for the virus.
On 28th May, Prakash Javdekar, Union Cabinet Minister, promised that a total of 216 crore new doses of covid-19 vaccines would be given to 108 crore Indians before 31st December 2021. India has a population of over 130 crores.
However, a closer perusal of the vaccines administered every day in India reveals that during the last 2 weeks, the government is administering only 32% of the vaccines that are needed to reach the target set out by the Minister.
What this means is that at this rate, by December 31, only 75 cr people will be vaccinated. This is only 40% of the vaccination required to achieve herd immunity.
Clearly there is a huge gap between the Minister’s target and the actual vaccination program, the prime reason being that vaccines are in short supply.
And production problems are not the only reason the procurement is not happening. The government has no money, which is why it is making way for the public to go to private hospitals and cough up a good amount of moolah to get vaccinated.
It may be too late in the day to ramp up our own internal production of the vaccine, but a government that can squander money on statutes, a meaningless new parliament building and on a new jet for the PM can surely come up with the money needed to buy the vaccine from anywhere in the world.
And while they are at it, government should stop making tall statements about achieving vaccination targets in the stipulated time and create a false sense of comfort among the people.
In the first place, the reason why India is devastated by the second wave is because of government failure to deal with it astutely and lying to the public about the extent of the pandemic.
A government that has two-power centres can never be expected to accomplish anything of national benefit. This has been the story of the Modi regime’s 7 years in power.
Right from day one the government has been downplaying the extent of the pandemic, fudging data and going to two claiming India had beaten the virus. The government only fooled itself, while in the process putting the nation on a path of severe suffering.
It is about time the government gets a hold of the problem. Or it should resign and make way for others who will do the job. Setting targets is one thing, achieving them is quite another. Your government simply does not have the competence to ensure welfare of the people.