Hailing the Narendra Modi government over its 100 crores COVID-19 vaccination feat, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday said the performance of the West Bengal government, however, has been a "disappointing" one on this front. Ghosh claimed that there was little coordination and planning among officials carrying out the vaccination drive in Bengal, "making it difficult for the poor to get free jabs, unlike other states".
"It is a matter of pride for us that WHO has commended the vaccination drive of India and congratulated our prime minister, scientists, health workers and others. But what is the situation in our state? The vaccination drive is being conducted in a haphazard manner, and unlike other states, common people are not getting inoculated extensively and freely. "The Mamata Banerjee government only believes in tall talks," Ghosh told reporters here.
Responding to Ghosh's criticism, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that the Centre has not cooperated well with the state, and Bengal, despite that, is one of the "frontrunners" in the country's vaccination drive.
"Dilip Ghosh must check his facts. The Centre has never despatched required doses to the state and the TMC government had to procure some on its own," he stated. A bulletin issued by the state health department showed that over 6.2 crore people have been jabbed in West Bengal with at least one dose.
On Thursday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country’s scientists, health workers and citizens for equitable vaccine distribution as the total number of doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore mark. India took 279 days to achieve the milestone.
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO, South-East Asia, said the feat would not have been possible without strong political leadership. "Huge congratulations to India for marking yet another milestone - a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.
This extraordinary feat in a short span was not possible without strong leadership, inter-sectoral convergence, dedicated efforts of the entire health and frontline workforce and the people themselves," she added.