Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], June 4 (ANI): Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday demanded a High Court-monitored probe into the alleged selling of COVID vaccine doses by the Punjab government to private hospitals for profit.
"The COVID vernment accine is available but the Punjab government is selling it to private hospitals. Punjab government is getting vaccines at Rs 400 but selling them to private hospitals at Rs 1060. And private hospitals is administering vaccine on higher prices," Sukhbir Singh Badal said.
Briefing in a press conference, the SAD president said, "A case should be registered against Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu for diverting vaccines meant for the common man to private institutions."
Badal 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 is formed, it would probe the entire issue and ensure exemplary punishment to those who had endangered the well-being of the poor and underprivileged sections of society.
"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. A Covaxin dose costing the State Rs 400 was being sold to private institutions at Rs 1,060. 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," explained Badal.
He further claimed that in Mohali alone 35,000 doses were sold to private institutions to earn a profit of nearly Rs 2 crore in a single day.
"It is immoral for the Congress government to make a profit from the sale of vaccines and punishing the people by forcing them to pay Rs 1,560 per dose. Rahul Gandhi should tell if he supports the Punjab government's move to force the common man to pay Rs 1560 per dose," stated Badal.
He also condemned State chief secretary Vinni Mahajan for allegedly asking people to get themselves vaccinated at two private institutions at inflated rates.
Punjab recorded 2,206 new COVID-19 cases and 91 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state bulletin on Thursday. As many as 4,512 people recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours. The fresh cases pushed the total COVID case tally in the state to 5,74,114. The active number of COVID cases in Punjab stands at 28,673. With the new fatalities, the COVID death toll in the state mounted to 14,840. (ANI)