‘Not Right to Blame Polls’: Amit Shah on Second Wave Of COVID

The Home Minister also said that COVID situation, at the present moment, does not warrant a “lockdown in a hurry”.

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COVID-19
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The Home Minister also said that COVID situation, at the present moment, does not warrant a “lockdown in a hurry”. Image used for representation. 
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Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached states where there have been no elections, hence linking the wave to the polls, as per him, is “not right”. His remarks comes amid a sharp surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, and with various states facing shortage of beds, vaccines, important drugs, and oxygen.

Further, the Home Minister said that the COVID-19 situation in the country, at the present moment, does not warrant a “lockdown in a hurry”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, the Home Minister said:

Dekhiye, Maharashtra mein chunav hai kya? Udhar 60,000 cases hain, idhar 4,000 hain. Maharashtra ke liye bhi mujhe anukampa hai. Aur iske liye bhi anukampa hai. Isko chunav ke saat jodna theek nahi hai. Jin jin rajyon me chunav hua? Jahan chunav nahi hua hai, udhar zyada badhe. Ab aap kya kehenge? (Is there an election in Maharashtra? It has 60,000 cases while here (in Bengal) it is 4,000. I care for Maharashtra and I care for Bengal. But linking (COVID surge) with election is not right. Which are the states where elections took place? And those that didn’t have any election have witnessed the surge. How do you explain that?)”   

‘No Lack of Urgency, No Shortage of Vaccines’: Home Minister

As per The Indian Express, on being told that unlike the first wave, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency or emergency at the Centre, during the second wave, Shah said: “That’s not true.”

“There were two meetings with Chief Ministers and I was also present…Consultations have happened with scientists on the vaccination front…preparations to fight this are full-fledged. The pace (of spread) this time is so high that it is a bit difficult to fight. But I am confident that we will have a victory over this.”

On being questioned about the government sending vaccine stocks overseas, even as the states report shortage of the jab, Shah claimed that there was no shortage.

“Our vaccination programme was the fastest in the world. In the first 10 days, the number of people who got vaccinated was the highest in India. After the first shot, there has to be a gap and the second one cannot be expedited. I do not agree that there’s a shortage.”

The Home Minister also stated that he thinks the surge is mainly because of the new mutants of the virus and many countries are seeing the same surge. He also said that any conclusion would be premature as scientists are still studying the virus.

India’s COVID Tally

India reported 2,61,500 fresh COVID cases in the last 24 hours – the highest single-day spike ever – pushing the country’s overall COVID tally to 1,47,88,109, according to the Health Ministry data released on Sunday, 18 April.

A total of 1,501 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Sunday. This is India’s highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, India's total active caseload has reached 18,01,316.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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