Punjab’s opposition party SAD on Thursday accused the state’s Congress government of “diverting” Covid vaccines to private hospitals at “hefty margins”.
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, in a statement alleged that vaccine doses were not available in the state but they were being sold to private institutions instead of being given free of cost to the common man.
He claimed that a Covaxin dose costing Rs 400 to the state was being sold to private institutions at Rs 1,060.
He said the private hospitals are further charging people Rs 1,560 for each dose.
“This amounts to a cost of Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000 per family for a single dose”.
Mr Badal alleged that in Mohali alone, 35,000 doses were sold to private institutions to “earn a profit” of nearly Rs two crore in a single day.
He said it was “immoral” for the Congress government to “make a profit” from the sale of vaccines.
“The government was also punishing people by forcing them to cough up Rs 1,560 per dose during a time of economic slowdown,” he alleged.
“Rahul Gandhi should tell if he supports the Punjab government’s move to force the common man to pay Rs 1,560 per dose,” said Mr Badal.
He said by doing so the government had abdicated its responsibility towards public welfare by corporatizing vaccine distribution.
“The entire Covid management exercise stands exposed. The government made grandiose promises but delivered nothing. Even neighbouring states are doing door to door vaccination”, said Mr Badal.
Mr Badal demanded a high court-monitored probe into how the Congress government was allegedly creating an “artificial shortage” of vaccines for the common man by selling its doses at a “hefty profit” to private hospitals, the SAD said in a statement.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and health officials for their comments turned futile.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)