Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday wrote to his counterparts seeking their cooperation to stand united in the nation’s fight against COVID-19 and focus on vaccination to save precious lives.
The Chief Minister stated in his letter that the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has affected every citizen in some way or the other. Some have lost their loved ones, others have lost livelihood means and many are battling mental trauma because of the present situation.
“The only way to protect our people against future waves and provide them with a hope of survival is vaccination. Countries which have focused on vaccination programme have seen remarkable improvement in their Covid situation. We have to provide this healing touch to our people,” Naveen wrote in the letter.
“No state is safe unless all the states adopt vaccination as the top most priority and execute it on war-footing. But, this cannot be a battle among the states to compete against each other to procure vaccines,” he reasoned.
“After the Union Government announced Phase 3 of the vaccine policy and allowed for above 18 years and opened procurement to State governments and private sector, there has been great demand for vaccination from the citizens. Many states have floated global tenders for vaccine procurement. However, it is quite clear that the global vaccine manufacturers are looking forward to the Union Government for the clearances and assurances. They are unwilling to get into supply contracts with the state governments. While the domestic vaccine manufacturers are having supply constraints and are not able to commit required supplies.”
“Under the above circumstances, the best option available is for the Government of India to centrally procure the vaccines and distribute it among the states so that our citizens are vaccinated at the earliest,” Naveen stated.
“At the same time, the execution of the vaccination programme has to be decentralised and states allowed the flexibility to determine their own mechanisms to ensure universal vaccination. For example, many hilly areas cannot access the internet and therefore online registration has to be flexible, some vulnerable tribes can be given priority by the State, etc,” the CM wrote.
“We have written to the Union Government in this regard. However, I would respectfully suggest that all the State Governments should come to a consensus on this issue for early resolution of this problem. We should act fast before any third wave comes and creates further havoc,” Naveen wrote seeking the cooperation of his counterparts.
Naveen also mentioned about having spoken to some Chief Ministers who shared his view on the situation.