Amid Covid’s Second Wave, Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi

New Delhi: Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi on April 12, 2021, shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with requests to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control in the country, which has been witnessing a second wave. Her demand includes speedy approval of new vaccines and a decision on eligibility of people based on exposure instead of age. She also highlighted the fact that most states are left with a vaccine stock of just three to five days.

“While it will be necessary on one hand to substantially ramp up our domestic production capacity, it will also be prudent to allow emergency use authorization of all the vaccine candidates that have the required clearances, without any further delay,” Smt. Sonia Gandhi wrote.

She also highlighted an issue Maharashtra has already flagged -- that the allocation of vaccines cannot be the same for all states and should be based on population.

“The numbers allocated to a state has to be based on the prevalence and projection of infection in that particular state,” Smt. Sonia Gandhi wrote. She sought the removal of GST on medicine and equipment, including ventilators, oximeters and oxygen cylinders.

Drawing from the experience of last year’s lockdown, which had hit the poor and the migrant laborers the hardest, she pointed to the inevitable restrictions on economic activity and appealed to the Prime Minister to put in place the much-needed scheme of minimum monthly guaranteed income.