Rajasthan may move SC if Centre doesn't invite global tender for Covid vaccines

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma on Thursday said the state government may move the Supreme Court like other states if the Centre does not invite global tender for procuring coronavirus vaccine.

“The state is getting Indian vaccines at cheaper cost that are being made available by the Centre whereas it’s costing high through global tender. To avoid such dispute Centre should invite global tender. If it does not do so then state government may move Supreme Court like other states,” he said.

He said that to increase the supply of vaccines, global tenders were issued by the state government in which nine companies participated including vendors of an Indian vaccine manufacturer.

Sharma said that the vaccination process has slowed down in the state as vaccine supply from manufacturers is short.

He said the Centre had allocated 12.66 lakh dose quota to the state for the month of June whereas the state requires 7 crore doses for vaccination of 18 to 44 year age group.

State government has given an order of Rs 59 crore for vaccine supply but it is very limited from manufacturing companies, the minister said.

He said that on an average 80,000 tests are being done daily by the state government and it intends to increase the number in the coming days.

The health minister said that in view of the possible third wave of coronavirus, the medical department has started preparations.

He said that on the instructions of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, the number of ICU beds is being increased in all paediatric hospitals and other units of the state.

In addition, the work on oxygen generation plant and centralised oxygen system is underway, the minister added.