Amidst the rapid surge in Covid-19 cases across the state, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to make available adequate supplies of vaccine, medicine and oxygen so as “to significantly scale the capacities to tackle the pandemic on war footing”.
In her two-page letter, Miss Banerjee highlighted three important issues where the state is looking for active cooperation from the Centre. Alongside, she said that the state is ready to extend its resources to the fullest extent to the Centre to tackle the pandemic so that the country can overcome the situation.
Reminding the PM that the state wanted to purchase the vaccine doses directly using state funds, Miss Banerjee noted that she had written to him earlier asking for Bengal to be allowed to purchase the vaccine doses directly and launch a free vaccination campaign to cover the state’s population. “However, the state has not received the requisite clearance yet,” she wrote.
In her fresh letter, Miss Banerjee said that the density of population in West Bengal and particularly in the city of Kolkata is extremely high and a focused and aggressive vaccination against Covid-19 is very important. “Unfortunately for us, the supply of vaccines from the GOI (Government of India) side has been scarce and erratic which has been negatively affecting our vaccination programmes. While West Bengal is one of the best performers in vaccination, it is now suffering because of uncertainties of supply from GOI end. We have to vaccinate around 2.7 crore, and for that we need 5.4 crore doses. We request for an urgent intervention to ensure that the state gets its requirement of vaccine doses fulfilled at the earliest,” she wrote.
Miss Banerjee said that the supply of essential medicines like remedesvir and tollizumab (Actemera) is extremely scarce and uncertain which has become a matter of grave concern.
“We need around 6,000 vials of remedesvir and 1,000 vials of Tollizu-mab daily. However, presently only 1,000 vials of remedesvir are available daily and no fresh supply of tollizumab is coming. It may be seen that the relevant authorities step up their efforts to ensure steady supply of these most essential supplies of medicines as soon as possible,” she further said.
Finally, she urged Mr Modi to increase the supply of oxygen. “The supply of oxygen, as you know, must be assured and certain. SAIL is meeting our need for the moment and we shall be grateful if you kindly instruct them too for ensuring steady supplies,” she wrote.