Kolkata: Trinamool Supremo Mamata Banerjee, after swearing-in as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the third time in a row on Wednesday, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying battle against COVID will be won with coordinated and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in augmenting infrastructure and an earnest drive for universal vaccination free of cost.
“I am again writing to you on the issue of COVID considering the huge proportion that several aspects of its management intruding ensuring adequate vaccines, the number of hospital beds, medicines, oxygen for all patients have assumed in the country,” Ms Banerjee wrote.
“At the very outset, I would again like to emphasize free vaccination for all. You may kindly recall my letter of 24th February 2021, wherein I had requested you to allow the Government of West Bengal to procure vaccines from designated points for providing vaccination to people of the State free of cost. This has not yet been addressed,” the chief minister wrote.
“Considering the severity of the matter in its entirety, I would like to request you to kindly look into the following:
i) Free vaccination as Universal immunization for all in a transparent and time-bound manner. At present, vaccine availability is too inadequate to provide to eligible beneficiaries and the Government of India direction to extend vaccination upto 18 years plus makes it unrealistic to achieve. So, the supply of vaccine is the core issue to address now.
ii) Ensuring adequate availability of essential drugs including Remdesivir and Tocilizumab to the States to meet their rising demand. At least, 10,000 doses of Remdesivir and 1000 vials of Tocilizumab is the daily requirement in our State.
iii) Consumption of medical oxygen has increased rapidly from 220 MT per day to 400 MT per day now, which is likely to rise to 500 MT per day in the next 7 days. Concerned authorities may kindly be advised to allocate at least 500 MT of medical oxygen per day out of total oxygen produced in Bengal on urgent basis to prevent any shortage.
iv) The dearth of oxygen cylinders is also a matter of concern. I am told that 70 PSA units have been allotted to Bengal recently which is likely to take time to be installed. As such, to meet immediate necessity, the current system will have to be strengthened,” she wrote.
“I firmly believe that this battle against COVID will be won with coordinated and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in augmenting infrastructure and an earnest drive for universal vaccination free of cost,” Ms Banerjee wrote in her letter.
“I am looking forward to your kind cooperation in this regard,” she added.