COVID-19: DMK calls for universal vaccination
DMK MP TR Baalu put forth these views in the all-party meeting addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Delhi, a virtual event to discuss Indias COVID-19 vaccination strategy, today.A DMK release here said Baalu spoke about the farmers protest near Delhi in the meeting, to which Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi objected to. Official sources in Delhi said the Minister asked the DMK leader to stick to the official agenda of the meeting, which was COVID-19.PTI | Chennai | Updated: 04-12-2020 23:15 IST | Created: 04-12-2020 23:15 IST
The DMK on Friday urged the Centre to implement universal COVID-19 vaccination programme in the country free of cost and cover its 130 crore population. DMK MP TR Baalu put forth these views in the all-party meeting addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Delhi, a virtual event to discuss India's COVID-19 vaccination strategy, today.
A DMK release here said Baalu spoke about the farmers' protest near Delhi in the meeting, to which "Parliamentary Affairs Minister (Pralhad Joshi) objected to." Official sources in Delhi said the Minister asked the DMK leader to stick to the official agenda of the meeting, which was COVID-19. Baalu lauded Modi for his recent visit to Indian pharmaceutical firms in Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad involved in researching covid vaccine to "encourage" them, the release said.
"With the vaccines in India set to come for use after trials in different stages, we should allow no place for any delay and vaccinate all 130 crore Indians. The road map for this should be planned," the release quoted Baalu as saying. Quoting reports he said, on a comparative note, Pune- based Serum Institute of India's vaccine seemed to be cheaper and could be stored in higher cold storage temperatures and "if these are true" then the domestic product will be suitable for Indian conditions, he added.
Estimating that about Rs 2.6 lakh crore would be required for the vaccination programme, he said the Centre, state governments and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) should share the expense. He suggested that the Centre direct private companies to allocate their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for 2021-22 for this purpose.
The government should view the vaccination programme as an "investment on human resources", Baalu added. Baalu concluded by raising the farmers' issue at Delhi, where the ryots have been "braving" severe cold and holding agitation in the open near the national capital against the Centre's three contentious farm laws.
He wanted the Prime Minister to hold talks with the agitating farmers, the release added. However, Joshi "objected" when Baalu raised the issue, the release said, claiming he asked the DMK MP not to speak on the matter.
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