Kolkata (West Bengal): As COVID-19 cases across the country continue to rise at an alarming rate, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested the Centre for the supply of 5.4 crore more doses of COVID-19 vaccination, steady supply of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab medicines and supply of oxygen.
The Chief Minister said that the supply of vaccines from the Centre to the state had been ‘scarce and erratic’, which had negatively affected the vaccination program.
“While West Bengal is one of the best performers in vaccination, it is now suffering because of uncertainties of supply from end of the Government of India. We have to vaccinate around 2.7 crores and we need 5.4 crore doses,” she wrote.
The Chief Minister also flagged the scarcity of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab (Actemra) and said that only 1,000 vials of the former are available daily and no fresh supply of the latter. “We need around 6,000 vials of the former and 1,000 vials of the latter were needed per day,” she said.
“The supply of oxygen, as you know, must be assured and certain. SAIL is meeting up our need for the moment, and we shall be grateful if you kindly instruct them to ensure steady supply,” she said.
Banerjee further pointed out that she had written to him earlier in February to allow the state to purchase vaccination doses directly with state funds and launch a free vaccination campaign.
“However, the state has not yet received the requisite clearance yet. In the meantime, the number of cases in the state has also begun to increase sharply, particularly in view of coming of large number of outsiders to the state for election campaign and other purposes at the behest of some political parties,” she added.
Earlier in the day, during an election rally ahead of the sixth phase of the state Assembly elections, Banerjee had hit out at the Prime Minister for exporting large number of vaccinations to other countries.
“There is a shortage of Remdesivir and oxygen in country… Today there is no medicine in our country but medicines were sent to 80 countries. I don’t have any problem if you send medicines, first provide it to your nation. You’re doing this to glorify your name,” she said.
As per the Union Health Ministry, there are currently 45,300 active COVID-19 cases in West Bengal. (ANI)