The opposition Congress on Saturday asked the Conrad K Sangma-led state government to take up with the Centre for ensuring that the vaccine policy is guided by complete scientific interpretation and not on individual’s opinion or strategy.
Addressing media persons after a meeting of the CLP, Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma said the interval between the first jab and second jab which was earlier indicated at 6-7 weeks have been increased to 12 to 16 weeks.
“When we try to look at this sudden increase between the first dose and the second dose, we could not find any scientific answer. There is no scientific answer as far as this gap is concerned,” he said.
Urging the state government to take up the issue with the Centre, Sangma said – “We must be realistic and we must be scientific as it cannot be based on somebody’s whims and fancies. This must be taken up with an appropriate amount of seriousness with the government of India and prevail upon it to take a call which should be guided by complete scientific interpretation and not by anybody individual’s opinion or strategy.”
According to him, the government cannot deviate from ground reality and from whatever is considered as realistic based on scientific understanding and based on scientific data.
He said the long gap between the first and the second jab would mean that the state will not have enough number of the population covered by two doses of vaccination adding the state will not have a population who are fully equipped with the right kind of arsenal in the instance case through vaccination to face the challenge of this pandemic.
“Will the virus wait for 12 and 16 weeks to show its resurgence in the third wave? We don’t know, we hope it doesn’t happen at all but the trend indicates that it might strike at any point of time.
Therefore…I have tweeted today in regard to my concern that the nation as a whole is likely to be found unprepared to face the onslaught of the inevitable third wave because of this revised vaccine policy, wherein the people who have received the first jab will have to wait for 12-16 weeks. But if we see the third wave striking sooner than that, that means the whole population will be seen unprotected, uncovered by the vaccine,” Sangma stated.
On the other hand, the former chief minister has also asked the state government to increase testing as it is one of the weapons to prevent the virus from spreading.
According to him, this is necessary based on inputs which suggest that cases are rising in the rural areas and the quantum of tests against the reported cases of suspected COVID-19 in rural areas are being seen as inadequate.
“In absence of adequate testing we will land up in not being able to identify as to where the virus is hiding and therefore testing becomes crucial,” he said.
Sangma said the CLP observed with concern this particular challenge where the government needed to ramp its capabilities across the state in respect of ensuring adequate testing proportionate to the inputs that is being received by concerned district authorities.
“We all know across the state we have infrastructures, we have the network through the C&RD blocks, public health centres, sub centres and many other resources which is available under the command of the government, they must be effectively put to use in this regard and get all necessary inputs so that they are able to respond appropriately.
In absence of appropriate inputs it is only natural that our attention will definitely not be drawn to those areas of concern. Therefore the government needs to ramp up all necessary measures that have been put in place.
In other words, the measures that are being put in place are not considered adequate, therefore it must be ramp up,” he added.
Stating that the demand to cope with the challenges will always be there, the leader of opposition said therefore continuous review and auditing of this is a must based on which the corrective ramping up wherever necessary and optimally utilizing the resources and manpower under the command of the government is very crucial.