New Delhi [India], July 20 (ANI): Urging Opposition not to make crisis a reason for politics, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday said the Indian government was not responsible for fudging of COVID-19 fatality data as state governments were responsible for it.
Delivering the government's official reply on COVID-19 management in Rajya Sabha, Mandaviya said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's guidance can save us from a third wave."
Speaking of the allegation of fudging of COVID fatality data, the minister said registration of Covid deaths done by states and central governments never asked any state to record less deaths or cases.
"Centre compiles and publishes the data sent in by state government. Our work is to publish that data, and nothing else. We haven't told anyone to show less numbers (of deaths) or less positive cases. There's no reason for that. PM had said the same in meetings with Chief Minister," he said.
He also urged the people not to do politics and raise questions on vaccination and appealed to people to keep faith in Indian scientists and vaccine manufacturers. The Minister also urged people not to make presumption about the third wave of the pandemic, and said, "It is not appropriate to say Covid third wave will hit children more" citing experiences of the previous waves.
"Our government has always said this crisis shouldn't become a reason for politics. There shouldn't be politics in this crisis...PM Modi has said that when 130 crore people of India take one step forward, the country can move forward by 130 crore steps. When we speak of the third wave, the 130 crore people - the common people, all state governments - should make a collective decision that we won't let a third wave hit our country. Our resolution and PM Modi's guidance can save us from a third wave," he said.
Speaking on the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine in India, the minister said for vaccine manufacturing, infrastructure is needed, and even then it takes time to set it up and operationalise it. "Those who will be able to do it are being talked to," he said.
However, he added that the government is getting 11-12 crore doses of Serum Institute of India's Covishield vaccine per month and Bharat Biotech will supply 3.5 crore doses of its Covid vaccine in August.
He also noted that Zydus Cadila has applied for emergency use authorisation for its DNA-based vaccine against coronavirus.
Mandaviya informed that DRDO has transferred the technology to produce 2DG drug, which was given for emergency use authorization as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients, to four pharma companies other than Dr Reddy's.
"The complete clinical study report of Phase-III trials of DRDO's 2DG oral drug in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients is expected to be available by the end of August 2021," he further said.
On the issue of shortage of vaccines reported in few states, the minister said, "The states are given vaccine availability projections 15 days in advance. It's their responsibility to plan inoculation accordingly."
He also informed that a trial for vaccines for children is under way. "Let's hope we can vaccinate our children soon," the Health Minister said.
Uring political parties to work together and not indulge in politics, Mandaviya said, "When there's a need to work together and implementation has to be done by the states, at that time we never said that this state failed or that state did not do this. I don't want to do politics but many states have 10-15 lakh doses of vaccines with them, I have data."
He reiterated India started 'Vaccine Maitri' for the export of vaccines for global diplomacy and "because we live with the essence of 'Shubh Labh', helping others in times of crisis."
He also countered Oppositions' allegation of government indulging theatrics, Mandaviya said, "They say why did we do 'thaali-taali'? We did it to encourage corona warriors. We did it for the policemen standing on the roads for our protection, we did it in honour of the healthcare staff - from the lowest to the highest level - who worked during the corona pandemic."
He said before being a minister, he is a father. "My daughter worked as an intern doctor in COVID ward. She told me that she would work in that ward itself and she continued. At that time I realised the importance of 'thaali-taali', it gave us courage," the minister added. (ANI)