'Maharashtra should be ready for stricter steps': Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Covid surge

MUMBAI: The NCP on Thursday accused the Centre of adopting a lackadaisical attitude towards Maharashtra amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as the BJP could not form a government in the state.

The allegation of the NCP, one of the constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, comes in the wake of the state’s claims that it was facing a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday refuted the state government’s claims, terming them as “utterly baseless” and blamed the latter for its failure to contain the pandemic.

The state NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase on Thursday said, “Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan needs to be reminded that Maharashtra tops the chart in the country as far as the vaccination drive is concerned and this is purely due to the efforts taken by Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope and his team.”

ALSO READ | Maharashtra COVID-19 crisis: State faces ventilator shortage; vaccination drive halted at Panvel, Pune

The state is proactive on testing, tracing, isolating and vaccinating, he said in a statement.

It was expected that Harsh Vardhan would respond positively to the call given by Tope, he said.

“It is the BJP’s policy to use cheap media tricks to divert attention from core issues. It is the Modi government, which has a lackadaisical approach towards Maharashtra only because the BJP could not form a government here,” he alleged.

The data on the number of vaccine doses received and administered is available if the Union health minister wishes to see, Tapase said.

The party spokesperson further said some state BJP leaders who have been opposing Maharashtra government’s “break the chain” directive need to be reminded that the Gujarat High Court had to tell the Gujarat government to implement a lockdown, as it was unable to check the viral spread.