Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday trashed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ((BJP) allegation of Congress-ruled states rejecting Covaxin as a complete lie and part of the ruling party’s false and politically motivated propaganda.
Responding to a question during an informal interaction with reporters after taking the first shot of the Covid Vaccine at Civil Hospital Mohali, the CM categorically denied the charge on Covaxin and slammed BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s claim that Punjab, along with other Opposition-ruled states, had expressed doubts and refused to accept the vaccination. It was not at all true, he added.
An official of the Punjab health ministry later disclosed that the state had received 1.34 lakh Covaxin doses, of which 2500 had already been administered.
The CM, in response to another question on slow pace of vaccination in the state, said the media was contributing to scaring the people. He urged the media to spread awareness about the importance and efficacy about the vaccines.
Admitting that cases of Covid in Punjab were on the rise, having crossed the per day figure of 1000 after more than a month, Amarinder said it was a matter of concern. Punjab government was keeping a close watch on the situation, he said, blaming the casual and carefree attitude of Punjabis for the resurgence in cases. He appealed to the people to strictly adhere to all Covid safety norms, including wearing of masks and social distancing, and not let their guard down, as the Coronavirus had not gone yet.
Meanwhile, underlining the need to continue Covid appropriate behaviour in the Punjab Assembly, Amarinder made it clear that safety restrictions and norms in the state shall continue, while ensuring minimum, if any, loss of livelihood to the citizens of the state.
Punjab was thought to be potentially a high-risk State given its international airports, and a large diaspora, but despite being over 2.5 per cent of India’s population, the cases reported in Punjab have been relatively much less (1.6 per cent) of the country’s 1.1 Crore cases, said the CM.
He said 5887 persons have unfortunately lost their lives in Punjab, with a current positivity rate of 2.3 per cent percent, “which is otherwise low but should give us no cause for complacency.” “It appears that India is experiencing a second wave so we have to be prepared for it,” he warned.