Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday stated that the Maharashtra govt is to blame for the current COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Vardhan said that the ‘lackadaisical attitude’ of the Maharashtra govt has ‘bogged down’ the country’s effort to fight the virus.

“Throughout the last year, as the Health Minister of India, I have been a witness to the misgovernance and utter casual approach of the Maharashtra government in battling the virus. The lackadaisical attitude of the state government has singularly bogged down the entire country`s efforts to fight the virus,” Vardhan said.

The Minister pointed out that today, Maharashtra not only has the highest cases and deaths in the country but also has one of the highest test positivity rates in the world! Their testing is not up to the mark and their contact tracing leaves a lot to be desired.

“The performance of Maharashtra government in terms of vaccinating health care workers and frontline workers is also not great. It is shocking to see how the state Government is putting Maharashtrians in danger by letting people escape institutional quarantine mandates for the sake of their personal Vasuli. Overall, as the state has lurched from one crisis to another, it seems as if the state leadership is happily sleeping at the wheels,” he said.

He also chastised the state governments to ‘distract attention from their failures’ and ‘spread panic among the people’.

“In recent days, I have seen with growing dismay a number of irresponsible statements from some State government functionaries in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. As these statements have the potential to mislead the public and spread panic, it has become necessary to put the record straight.” Union Health Minister added.

According to Harsh Vardhan, at a time when the country is witnessing a fresh wave of Covid infections, many State governments have failed to take appropriate response measures and apply the lessons that the nation has learned over the past one year of handling this pandemic.

India has detected 1,26,789 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike taking the total coronavirus caseload to over 1.29 crore, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry.

The country’s total Covid-19 caseload stands now stands at 1,29,28,574, of which 9,10,319 are active Covid-19 cases which compromise 7.04 per cent of the total infections. India is now the fourth worst-hit country in terms of active cases.

(With agency inputs)