‘Artificial shortage’: SAD alleges vaccine scam in Punjab, alleges diversion to private hospitals at hefty margins

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Updated: June 04, 2021 10:39 AM

Shiromani Akali Dal also demanded a High Court-monitored probe into the diversion of vaccines to private players at hefty margins to create an artificial shortage.

Punjab vaccine scamSukhbir Singh Badal said that while Rahul Gandhi is demanding free vaccination, he should now speak about common people paying Rs 6,000 or Rs 9,000 for a single vaccine dose.

The Amarinder Singh-led Congress government has come under fire from opposition parties for allegedly selling vaccines to private hospitals. Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal has claimed that the Congress government purchased vaccines for Rs 400/vial and sold it to private hospitals at a rate of Rs 1060 per vial which in turn charged hefty amount from the beneficiaries.

“The COVID vaccine is available but the Punjab government is selling it to private hospitals. The Punjab government is getting vaccines at Rs 400 but selling them to private hospitals at Rs 1060 and private hospitals are administering vaccines at higher prices,” claimed Sukhbir Singh Badal.

He said that it is immoral for the Congress government to profit from the sale of COVID-19 vaccines. “People are being punished during a time of economic slowdown. Congress government has abdicated its responsibility towards public welfare by corporatising vaccine distribution. The entire COVID-19 management exercise stands exposed,” he claimed.

Badal said that while Rahul Gandhi is demanding free vaccination, he should now speak about common people paying Rs 6,000 or Rs 9,000 for a single vaccine dose. “Rahul Gandhi who has demanded free vaccines for all should tell what he has to say to a common man forced to pay Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000 for a single vaccine dose for his family. He should tell if he supports the Punjab government’s decision to force people to get vaccine doses for Rs 1560,” said SAD leader.

Sukhbir Singh Badal said that the Congress government is playing with people’s lives. He said that the health minister of Punjab should be sacked. “Punjab Health minister Balbir Singh should be sacked. Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan should also not act like a market salesman for private institutions by encouraging people to get vaccinated at inflated rates,” he said, hitting out at the administration.

Shiromani Akali Dal also demanded a High Court-monitored probe into the diversion of vaccines to private players at hefty margins to create an artificial shortage. “Vaccines procured @ Rs 400 /dose sold to private hosp for Rs 1060 and are available to common man at Rs 1560. This is a scam,” said Badal on Twitter while tagging Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in his tweet.

Notably, on May 15, it was Vini Mahajan who herself informed that private hospitals Max Mohali and Fortis have procured vaccines and have begun vaccinating 18-44 years in Punjab. “Max is charging Rs 900 for Covishield and Fortis Rs 1250 for Covaxin. Please register on Cowin Portal to book a slot at these hospitals,” she had said.

BJP National General Secretary B L Santhosh slammed the Congress-ruled states over the issue. “First it was Rahul Gandhi’s Rajasthan government throwing vaccines into garbage and dustbins. Now, his own Punjab government sells Covaxin to private hospitals at premium rate. Bankrupt Party. Shameless leaders,” said BL Santhosh.

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