Amidst the fresh surge of COVID-19 infections across the country, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Raghav Chadha wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asking him for "urgent need for vaccine universalisation and vaccine nationalism".
"Vaccine nationalism and vaccine universalisation are the need of the hour. Vaccines should have a strict India-first rule, with Indian citizens' need being given priority over exports to other countries. The Government of India should not be exporting doses while citizens are dying in thousands with a cure within the grasp, but out of reach," the AAP MLA stated in the letter.
"By promoting vaccine nationalism, the Government of India must ensure that every Indian citizen is vaccinated, and does not have to suffer because of the diplomatic adventurism," the letter reads.
Speaking to , Chadha said, "On the first day of the Tika Utsav, I wrote to the Prime Minister requesting him to follow vaccine nationalism. All 135 crore Indians must be vaccinated properly before this government indulges in vaccine diplomacy or any sort of diplomatic adventurism."
He said, "Several states have run out of stocks of vaccines and remaining states have stocks left only for 3 to 5 days."
"The vaccination must be open for all. Youth have been systematically kept away from vaccination. Make everyone eligible. Remove this arbitrary eligibility criterion. Let everyone get vaccinated fast. Why are these life-saving drugs are being exported?" stated the AAP spokesperson.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the country recorded 1,52,879 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. With this, the total number of infections has reached 1,33,58,805 in India.
Meanwhile, the four-day-long 'Tika Utsav', a mass Covid-19 vaccine programme, started in the country on Sunday (Jyotirao Phule's birth anniversary) to April 14 (B R Ambedkar's birth anniversary), following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for the same.
From April 2, the government started vaccinating all people above 45 years. India started its vaccination drive on January 16 with priority given to all healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase. The second phase started on March 1 where doses were administered to people above the age of 60 and those between 45 and 59 years with specific comorbidities.
( With inputs from ANI )
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