NEW DELHI: Refuting allegations that he was playing politics over the COVID vaccination drive, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said his only intention is to get vaccines for all.
"Our people need vaccines. Where is the politicisation in this? The Centre must tell where to get the vaccines from. The country is suffering from the pandemic and experience from across the globe shows that vaccination is the sole solution. So the Centre should buy vaccines for the entire country and distribute them to state governments," he said.
Inaugurating a government-run drive-through vaccination facility, Kejriwal said his government was making all the efforts to manage the vaccine crisis but foreign manufacturers wanted to directly deal with the Centre only.
His statement comes amid fears that the Delhi government's global tender to procure vaccines directly from foreign manufacturers may not materialise. "We have floated a global tender for vaccines. We are making all the efforts from our side but till now all other state governments which had floated similar tenders couldn’t sign any agreements. All the big vaccine manufacturing companies want to deal directly with the Centre," said the chief minister.
Delhi government and the Centre have been indulging in blame games over the supply of vaccines to the capital.
Stating that the Centre is responsible for procuring the vaccines and giving them to individual states, Kejriwal said the remaining work of setting up vaccination centres and administering the jabs would be taken care of by the states.
Kejriwal further said there is a shortage of medicine for ‘black fungus’ disease and demanded help from the Centre in this regard as well.
He said there are two sets of data on black fungus One with the Delhi government and the other with private hospitals and central government hospitals. In the Delhi government hospitals, there are about 450 cases.
The central government hospitals are dealing directly with the Centre for procuring the medicine, he said. "We have demanded the medicines accordingly and I understand that there is a countrywide paucity of medicines," Kejriwal added.