New Delhi, Mar 21 (PTI) On a day India registered the highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases so far this year, the Congress on Sunday said the government has failed to control the spread of the virus and demanded that it spells out a comprehensive plan for increasing vaccination in the country.
The nation has been witnessing a spike in coronavirus cases recently and recorded 43,846 new instances of COVId-19 in a day. Registering an increase for the 11th day in a row, the total active caseload has increased to 3,09,087, according to health ministry data. 'The second wave of the COVID-19 is staring at us,' Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said and accused the government of not taking the virus seriously.
He urged the Centre to take immediate steps to check the contagion.
Singhvi said India's contribution to the total COVID-19 cases in the world has risen from 2.4 per cent to 9.4 per cent and to the total global deaths from 0.9 per cent to 1.7 per cent within a period of over one month.
'Why has it (COVID situation) been allowed to spiral out of control? What is the point of all the early gains we made on a so-called hard lockdown, being lost? Why did the government remain a mute spectator? Why has the vaccination plan not been scaled up,' he posed at a press conference.
The Congress leader said the government should come out with a plan to say that in 12 months all will be vaccinated, but 'we have asked for a plan for months as otherwise, it would take decades and years at this rate'.
'It is good to be a donor and social benefitter and social welfare country to other countries in the world, but it is not good that our own country does not get vaccines across the board for all classes and we are only interested in getting brownie points by donation. So, I think it is something which is very serious and it deserves urgent attention,' he told reporters.
The second wave of COVID-19 is before the country. The virus will hurt the country unless drastic steps and a comprehensive vaccine policy is put in place, the Congress leader said.
'The government has failed. We have done around 4 crore vaccinations which is a very small amount and till we increase it substantially soon we will be in trouble,' Singhvi noted.
There is also huge divergence within states as some like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu have less than 2 per cent vaccination.
'We are proud to be vaccine donors but our overall vaccination is a minuscule 1 per cent. There is a huge regional imbalance in vaccination,' he said. 'The question is what is the government doing in a drastic manner. Covid second wave is upon us or is round the corner. Corona will spare no one and we have to take immediate steps out of a well-thought-out comprehensive strategy. Otherwise, shame will come for the BJP government in different doses at different times,' he alleged.
Citing figures, the Congress leader said in that February the US had 28 per cent, Brazil 9.7 per cent and India 2.4 per cent of total global cases, but now India has 9.4 per cent contribution.
As far as deaths due to COVID-19 are concerned, the US had 23 per cent, Brazil 7.7 per cent and India had 0.9 per cent share worldwide. India's contribution has now doubled to 1.7 per cent, he said.
'It is the government's responsibility and we demand a reply from it to spell out a plan in this regard,' Singhvi said. PTI SKC NSD NSD