BENGALURU, HUBBALLI: When senior citizens and those with co-morbidities who are eligible, are being asked to register and await their turn for the Covid-19 vaccination, Agriculture Minister B C Patil sparked a major controversy when he and his wife got the vaccine administered at his residence. Taking serious note of this, the Centre on Tuesday said that it has asked for a report from the Karnataka Government in this regard.
“While 90- and 100-year-old citizens are struggling, waiting in queues to get their vaccine, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself went all the way till the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to get the jab, here is our Karnataka minister who can order government servants to come to his doorstep for a jab,” remarked Rudrappa Desai, a retired banker who waited for more than five hours at a government hospital for the vaccination.
On Tuesday morning, the second day of the third phase of the vaccination drive, government doctors landed at B C Patil’s residence at Hirekerur in Haveri district and administered the vaccine to the 64-year-old minister and his wife. He even tweeted pictures announcing that he had taken the vaccine. The photograph and video went viral, sparking anger among citizens. The minister was trolled heavily and several social media users questioned his decision to take the vaccine at home.
Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that as per protocol, people have to get vaccinated at hospitals. “Vaccinating at home is not allowed. I will inquire about this and issue notices to the doctors and minister seeking explanation,” he told the media.Meanwhile, Patil defended himself saying that he had not committed any crime and wanted to avoid trouble for the public. “Have I committed theft or robbery? I have only taken the vaccine at home, which is not a crime,” he told reporters.
The minister also said that he did not know the guidelines for vaccination and, as there were many programmes he was preoccupied with, he had called the doctors home. He also added that if he had gone to the hospital, then it would have caused trouble for the people waiting there.However, Dr Sudhakar expressed dissatisfaction over Patil’s conduct and said the medical team should have persuaded him to visit the hospital. “Unless there is prior permission, no one is allowed to vaccinate at home. It is wrong to do so,” he said.
The Health Minister also said that he will issue a circular to doctors not to administer vaccines at home.
Close aides of Patil reasoned that he had pain in the leg and other engagements to attend to in his constituency. Hence, he decided to take the vaccine at his residence.