Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, 7 April, slammed the government over the Centre's stand that vaccination drive was aimed towards those who 'need it' and not towards those who ‘want it’.
Gandhi took to his official Twitter handle and said that it was ridiculous to debate needs and wants. “Every Indian deserves the chance to a safe life,” he said.
The former Congress president’s remark came after Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said during the health ministry’s weekly media briefing on Tuesday that the COVID-19 vaccine would be given to “those in need and not the ones who want it”.
“Many people ask why we shouldn’t open up vaccination for all. There are two aims of such vaccination drives — to prevent deaths and protect the healthcare system. The aim is not to administer the vaccine to those who want it, but to those who need it,” Bhushan had said.
Gandhi also demanded that the government should open COVID-19 vaccination to all age groups. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also claimed that if the Centre relaxes its rules for COVID-19 vaccination, his government can vaccinate all people within three months.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to allow all citizens above the age of 18 to get vaccinated.
India on Wednesday, 7 April, reported 1,15,736 new COVID cases, taking the tally in the country to 1,28,01,785. The death toll increased by 630 to 1,66,177.
India's coronavirus curve had been steadily declining after reaching a peak of 90,000-plus cases in September. However, cases again started rapidly increasing over the last few weeks, with Maharashtra leading the surge.