The rise in the number of covid cases, especially in Maharashtra, is a clear warning to the government to accelerate its vaccination programme by including private stakeholders, a top market analyst has said.
Seasoned market expert, Deepak Talwar said that the government must take notice of the clarion call given by Azim Premji of Wipro and Dr. Devi Shetty of Nirmal Hridalaya, seeking an accelerated programme of vaccinations aided by the private sector.
“Shetty said he was confident that 500 million Indians could be vaccinated in a month while Premji said it could be achieved in two months. These are serious calls,” said Talwar.
He said that the Health Ministry wanted to first vaccinate healthcare workers, then frontline workers, and subsequently those above the age of 50, especially the ones with co-morbidities. “But two stages are running far behind schedule and there has been some unnecessary propaganda against the CoviShield and Covaxin vaccines. And now, Covid has made a comeback, first in Kerala and now in Maharashtra.”
India’s active cases have now crossed 150,000 again, driven by Maharashtra this time.
India’s cumulative caseload of 11 million Covid cases is now roughly equal to the amount of 10.65 million vaccine recipients. “The private sector needs to get involved in the vaccination drive which is proceeding under the centralised control of the Union Health Ministry,” said Deepak Talwar. He expressed that the propaganda against the vaccine was on the wane and also felt that there may be no general reluctance to get vaccinated.
“It will help the nation immensely if the government reworks its strategy for roping in private sector institutions and also starts commercial vaccinations (subject to rational price ceilings). The induction of priced vaccinations and private healthcare agencies and hospitals needs to be pushed fast,” Deepak Talwar added.
He said that private hospitals and companies should be able to buy the vaccines for a reasonable price in bulk and follow protocols to start vaccinating people. “Secondly, corporate social responsibility funds must be used to enable profitable companies to vaccinate the poor for free, apart from contributing to state-led vaccination funds that can be created through corporate and private contributions that are tax-exempt.” Alerting the government, Deepak Talwar warned that India’s new Covid wave should be stopped in its tracks before it ruins livelihoods once more.