New Delhi, May 28
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the current state of vaccination “will guarantee a third Covid-19 wave”, and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government have not understood the disease yet, which was evolving fast and nor do they have an inoculation strategy to prevent the future waves.
Addressing the virtual press meet, Gandhi rejected the Centre’s assertion that Covid management was going well till the Government of India was managing the response, and the decision-making had not been decentralised to the states.
“The Congress-led Chhattisgarh government did not export the vaccines. The PM did. The buck stops with him …. Here, I am saying, that the PM is responsible for the second Covid wave. It is the result of his theatrics and lack of responsibility. At today’s pace, vaccinations will be completed in May 2024, but by then we will have multiple waves and people will remain vulnerable,” the Congress leader said defending his recent tweet where he called Covid as “Movid” in an attack on PM Narendra Modi, and expressing grave concern over 3 per cent inoculation coverage in India.
Gandhi urged the PM to evolve a vaccine strategy, and cover all Indians as soon as possible saying, it was time for the Prime Minister to “be a leader and organize jabs for everyone.”
“I’ve been speaking to experts since February. Covid is not a single disease. It is transforming. The disease that attacked us in the second wave is different from the one that attacked us in the first. We are lucky that this second wave is still under the umbrella of the virus. The third may be much more dangerous. Covid is evolving and we have to stop the space for it. Lockdown, masks and social distancing are temporary solutions to Covid. Vaccination is the permanent solution,” the Congress leader said adding: “In my understanding, the current rate of vaccination guarantees the third wave of the virus. If vaccination was 50-60 pc you would not have a third wave and certainly not the fourth.”
Accusing the Prime Minister of lacking in strategic thought, Gandhi said: “He is an event manager.”
The Congress MP also lamented Foreign minister S Jaishankar’s remarks about there being a conspiracy to defame India in Covid times and noted: “The opposition is like a warning system. We are on the side of the government in this war but the problem is everything is seen as a conspiracy. We have been warning the government since February and they have mocked us.”