Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday (April 19) tested positive for COVID-19. According to an AIIMS official, Singh has been admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre in Delhi.
The senior Congress leader on Sunday (April 18) wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the COVID-19 crisis in the country. He put forward five suggestions to the government, including ramping up the vaccination program and giving approval to the vaccines cleared by European agencies or USFDA.
“One must not look at absolute numbers but the total percentage of population vaccinated,” the veteran leader said in a two-page letter to the prime minister.
"The key to our fight against COVID-19 must be ramping up the vaccination effort. We must resist the temptation to look at the absolute numbers being vaccinated, and focus instead on the percentage of the population vaccinated," he further said in his letter.
Talking about vaccination, Singh said that states should be given some flexibility to define categories of frontline workers who can be vaccinated even if they are below 45 years of age.
"India has emerged as the largest vaccine producer in the world, thanks to policies adopted by the government and robust intellectual property protection. The capacity is largely in the private sector. At this moment of a public health emergency, the Government of India must proactively support vaccine producers to expand their manufacturing facilities quickly by providing funds and other concessions," Singh said.
"We are facing an unprecedented emergency and, I understand, experts are of the view that this relaxation is justified in an emergency. The relaxation could be for a limited period during which the bridging trials could be completed in India. All consumers of such vaccines could be duly cautioned that these vaccines are being allowed for use based on the approval granted by the relevant authority abroad," he added.