NEW DELHI: Foreign vaccine manufacturers have refused to directly deal with states and instead informed that they are in touch with the Centre, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday.With Delhi like other states facing a shortage of vaccine doses, the AAP government had reached out to Moderna and Pfizer for directly procuring the vials. But like its Punjab counterpart, the Delhi government also got the response that the vaccine deals would be done directly with the Centre.s came a day after a senior Punjab official said Moderna had refused to send vaccines directly to the state government stating that it only deals with the Centre.
Punjab Nodal Officer for vaccination Vikas Garg, had on Sunday, COVID vaccine manufacturer Moderna has refused to send vaccines directly to the Punjab government stating that according to their policy, they only deal with the Government of India and not with any state government or private parties.
Kejriwal said the second wave of COVID-19 is declining gradually and the city government has started preparations for the third wave.
"We have imported 6,000 oxygen cylinders from China. Three depots with 2,000 each are being created. These will be used in case of a third wave. MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) and Indian Embassy in Beijing help us greatly, else this was not possible," he said.
Questioning the Centre’s lack of ‘urgency’, Kejriwal asserted the government should act now given that a lot of time has been wasted already. “Why is the work not being done with urgency? It is my earnest request to the Central government that our country has lost a lot of time already… It has been a long time. We should not waste time anymore.”
Vaccine rollout for the 18-44 age group was paused on Saturday in Delhi due to the shortage of doses. The AAP government has been blaming the Centre of not having a contingency plan to meet the massive demand of vaccine given the large population of the country.Kejriwal said that “why can’t this be the case that the Central Government calls, invites and talks to these companies and I think within 3-4 days deals and agreements can be made with all the companies.”
While Delhi needs 80 lakh cases, Kejriwal had said, it had only received 16 lakh doses in May and the city’s June share had also been reduced further to eight lakh doses.The chief minister also drew the Centre’s attention to the shortage of medicine required for treatment of mucromycosis. “Suddenly this illness has emerged and there is a shortage of its medicine in the market. The Central Government is distributing all the medicines it has to the states. As there is an extreme shortage of medicine, its production also has to be increased,” he said, adding that there are about 500 cases of Black Fungus are reported from city hospitals.
(With agencies inputs)