‘People are crying for medicines, oxygen but they are laughing during rallies’, says Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday slammed the Centre for showing insensitivity towards people during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying when people are screaming for shortages of medical oxygen, medicines and hospital beds, the central leaders are seen laughing during election rallies.

“Even today they’re busy with campaigning. They are laughing from the stages (at rallies). People are crying, screaming for help, seeking oxygen, beds, medicines, and you’re going to huge rallies and laughing! How can you?” the Congress leader told ANI in an interview.

 Elaborating about the deteriorating situation across the country due to COVID-19, She said that the Centre is engaged in election rallies for the West Bengal Assembly polls.

Blaming the BJP-led government at the Centre for the alarming spread of COVID-19,She said that the Centre is concerned more about power rather than public health.

Hitting out at Central government for the shortage of oxygen cylinders in the hospitals, the Congress leader alleged that the shortage of medical oxygen was due to the lack of logistics, and asked why the government did not make arrangements when a second COVID-19 wave was likely to hit the country harder.

While adding that ” the government has failed to put in place a proper plan to battle the second wave of infections.” “Why did it not make arrangements when a second wave was inevitable? The country is facing a shortage of oxygen because there was no strategy, this is the government’s failure and bad planning,” she added. She asked the Prime Minister to act now as India is the biggest producer of Oxygen.

The Congress leader said, “India’s production capacity for oxygen is one of the largest in the world. Then why’s there a shortage? You had 8-9 months (between first and second wave), your own Serosurveys indicated that a 2nd wave is imminent, you ignored it.”

“You had time. Today, only 2000 trucks in India can transport oxygen. How tragic it is that oxygen is available but it’s not reaching where it should. 1.1 million Remdesivir injections were exported in the last 6 months. Today, we are facing a shortage,” she added.

“The government exported 6 crore vaccines between January-March. During this time 3-4 crore Indians were vaccinated. Why were Indians not prioritised? Vaccine shortage is due to bad planning, Remdesivir shortage is due to no planning, oxygen shortage due to no strategy. It’s Government’s failure,” she said while criticising the Centre for the shortage of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir as the country battles a second wave of infections.

On the COVID-19 tests being conducted across country, she further said, “Why did they not ramp up? Why the antigen tests? To lower their numbers? Even today reports are coming that private labs are being told to stop the testing. Why? What is important – people’s lives or your numbers and the image of your government?” Commenting on the claim made by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister that they have increased testings, she said,”Their own Sero survey in October-November said, 5 crore people came in contact with the virus. Ramping up of testing was recommended. Uttar Pradesh Government started 70 per cent antigen tests which means only 30 per cent RT-PCR test is being done.”