With the government’s handling of COVID-19 being a major public issue, BJP MPs on Tuesday were given a detailed note on the government’s response to the pandemic and the ongoing vaccination drive in an attempt by the party to arm its lawmakers with information to take on the critics. The booklets, prepared by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, claim all efforts to counter the disease cannot be attributed to just the Union or state governments but to “Team India” which acted with a “whole of government and whole of society” approach in a preemptive, proactive and graded manner.
Opposition parties have been attacking the Narendra Modi dispensation and the BJP governments in poll-bound states such as Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa for their handling of the pandemic. They have also accused the central government of not doing enough to vaccinate people at a fast pace.
The ministry’s note argues that India has delivered the highest vaccine doses compared to other countries for which “transparent” data is available in the public domain. China has claimed to have given 160 crore doses, it added. India has by July-end administered over 45 crore doses compared to 34.3 crore in the US and 13.7 crore in Brazil and 8.4 crore in the UK, it said. India took 166 days to reach the mark of 34 crore vaccine doses against 221 days by the US, the note stated.
India has so far administered over 10 per cent of the doses given globally. Referring to India’s handling of the pandemic, the note claims that the country managed to “evade” the catastrophic effects of the pandemic which had wreaked havoc in the world.
It also highlights the government’s efforts to distribute required medicines and medical oxygen, besides the measures to ramp up the supply of the life-saving gas. PM Modi, it notes, held 21 meetings with states, addressed the nation 10 times and chaired a total of 40 meetings. India’s COVID-19 cases at 22,726 per million and fatality at 305 per million at are among the “lowest” in the world, it said.