Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday demanded a high court monitored probe into the manner in which the Congress government was playing with the lives of Punjabis by creating an artificial shortage of COVID-19 vaccine for the common man by selling vaccine doses at a hefty profit to private hospitals.
Sukhbir Singh Badal, who addressed a press conference on this issue, said a case should be registered against Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu for diverting vaccines meant for the common man to private institutions even as he averred that the issue had the makings of a major scam.
He said the scandal had also exposed Congress de facto leader Rahul Gandhi who had recently demanded free vaccines for all.
“Rahul Gandhi should tell if he supports the Punjab government’s move to force the common man to pay Rs 1560 per dose,” he said. He also condemned State chief secretary Vinni Mahajan for taking on the role of a marketing director of private institutions by tweeting that people should get themselves vaccinated at two private institutions at inflated rates.
Demanding that the Congress government stop this discrimination against the common man immediately, Shiromani Akali Dal President said if this corporatization of vaccine distribution is not stopped the SAD would be forced to approach the courts for justice.
He also announced that once a SAD led government was formed it would probe the entire issue and ensure exemplary punishment to those who had endangered the well being of the poor and under privileged sections of society.
Blowing the lid off the entire scam, Sukhbir Badal said vaccine doses were available in the State but they were being sold to private institutions instead of being given free of cost to the common man.
He said a Covaxin dose costing the State Rs 400 was being sold to private institutions at Rs 1060. He said the private hospitals were further selling the dose at Rs 1560. “This amounts to a cost of Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000 per family for a single dose”. He said in Mohali alone 35,000 doses were sold to private institutions to earn a profit of nearly Rs two crore in a single day.
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