Govt avoiding duty of giving free anti-Covid shots to 18-44 age group people: HP Cong

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Shimla, June 4 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh government is trying to evade its responsibility of free anti-Covid vaccinations to people of 18 to 44 years in age, the state Congress leaders alleged on Friday.

Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri told reporters that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had recently stated that vaccine for the 18-44 age group would not be available at government hospitals till June 15.

On the contrary, Covishield and Covaxin are available at private hospitals of the state at the cost of Rs 850 and Rs 1,250 respective, he added.

Agnihotri accompanied by other Congress leaders Kaul Singh Thakur, Asha Kumari, Sudhir Sharma and Vikramaditya Singh asked how covid vaccines were available at private hospitals while the state government had failed to procure them adequately for the 18-44 age group.

Stating that the right to treatment is a fundamental right to life, Agnihotri demanded that the entire Himachal Pradesh citizens including the 18-44 age group should be administered covid vaccine free of cost.

Accusing the Thakur government of having failed in the proper handling of the Covid pandemic, Agnihotri said over 1,800 people succumbed to the virus in May itself out of total 3,225 covid deaths in the state till 2 pm today.

The leader of opposition further said the number of covid deaths was much higher as the deaths during home isolation, deaths of HP residents outside the state and deaths due to post-Covid complications were not included in the recorded data.

Agnihotri further stated that several frontline warriors and government employees lost their lives during their fight against Covid but none of their next of kin was provided Rs 50 lakh financial aid as had been announced by the government.

The leader of the opposition further alleged corruption in the purchase of masks, sanitisers, other equipment and even in the setting of the Covid care centres.

He criticised the state government in distribution by BJP MLAs of isolation kits to Covid patients by arranging public functions in violation of the Covid protocol. PTI DJI RAX RAX

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