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Karnataka rejects probe into COVID purchases, Oppn walks out of House

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Yediyurappa Karnataka

Bengaluru, Sep 23 : After the opposition demand for a judicial inquiry into procurements made during the COVID-19 pandemic was rejected, opposition Congress lawmakers led by Siddaramaiah walked out of the Assembly in protest on Wednesday.

Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar earlier asserted that there was no corruption in any of the procurements done during the pandemic.

Replying to a debate on alleged procurement scams pointed out by opposition parties in the Assembly, Sudhakar said that there was no deviation of funds or corruption. “So, where is the question of ordering a probe? The state government rejects all allegations made by the Opposition,” the Minister said.

He charged the opposition lawmakers with trying to derive political mileage which he said was demoralising officials and Corona Warriors.

According to him, ventilators procured by the Tamil Nadu government are transport ventilators used in ambulances. “Hence, it is not correct to compare our ventilators with those in Tamil Nadu. Ventilators of different specifications and quality are available for different prices; one should not get confused with different prices,” he maintained.

The Minister asserted that the market prices vary as per the demand, and the procurement is done on the basis of prevailing prices.

“There is no instance of corruption in the procurement of equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. Not even a single deviation has taken place and, therefore, there is no need for an investigation,” he asserted.

“When there was no domestic production, we procured three lakh PPE kits from China. Subsequently, we decided to purchase from local manufacturers, that too ICMR-approved kits. Similar procedures were followed by other states as well,” the Minister explained.

He said there was shortage of sanitisers in the state but after talks with distillery owners, the demand has since been met.

Earlier, several opposition leaders, including Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah accused the state government of indulging in rampant corruption during the pandemic.

“Be it the purchase of ventilators, beds, medicines, or PPE kits, every procurement was cleared only after a cut. Hence, it is necessary to order a judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court Judge,” he said, as other opposition members endorsed his views.

Election

With Fadnavis, Covid drives 4 prominent BJP leaders out of Bihar campaign

On Saturday, Devendra Fadnavis, in-charge of the election, also tested positive, providing a setback to the BJP.

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Devendra Fadnavis

Patna: The Covid-19 virus is making its presence conspicuous in the Bihar assembly elections.

BJP’s election in-charge and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also tested corona positive on Saturday.

With this a quartet of prominent BJP leaders have been compelled to keep away from campaigning in Bihar because of testing positive for Coronavirus.

Talking about corona-infected leaders, former state deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, star campaigner and former union minister Shahnawaz Hussain and MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy have also tested positive.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi and Shahnawaz Hussain are undergoing treatment at AIIMS.

On Saturday, Devendra Fadnavis, in-charge of the election, also tested positive, providing a setback to the BJP.

All these leaders have had to keep away from electioneering and go into isolation.

On Saturday, Fadnavis appealed to those who came in contact with him to exercise the necessary vigilance.

BJP sources said, the BJP may end up facing some degree of difficulty in election management, but the national party has a number of other prominent political leaders.

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Health

Everybody in India must get Covid vaccine free, says Kejriwal

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COVID-19 Vaccine

New Delhi: According to the Delhi government, every Indian must get the Coronavirus vaccine free of cost, whenever it is ready.

The BJP has included the promise of providing the Covid-19 vaccine free of cost in its manifesto issued for the Bihar assembly elections, stirring up a political controversy.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday, “The entire country must get a free vaccine. It is the right of every citizen in the country,” Kejriwal said on the sidelines of an event in which he inaugurated two flyovers.

Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party had said that those who do not vote for the BJP must also get free vaccine.

More than 3.48 lakh corona infections have been reported in Delhi so far. Over 6,000 persons have died of Corona in Delhi. There are more than 26,000 active cases in the national Capital.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in Bihar’s election manifesto that every person in Bihar would be given free Covid-19 vaccine once it is ready.

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Health

Harsh Vardhan expresses hope that Covid-19 vaccine will be made available in country by January next year

Dr Harsh Vardhan also appealed to the people to follow Covid appropriate behaviuor to check the spread of virus in view of the coming festive seasons.

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Vaccine Covid

Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has expressed hope that Covid-19 vaccine will be made available in the country by January next year.

Speaking at a programme on DD News, Dr Vardhan said there are three vaccine candidates in India, out of which one is at the advanced stage of clinical trial of phase-3. Of the other two vaccine candidates, which are in clinical trial of phase-2, one has recently entered the third phase trial.

Dr Vardhan also said, if the preparations in this regard made so far progress well then 400 to 500 million doses of the Covid vaccine will be available in the country before June and July of next year.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also appealed to the people to follow Covid appropriate behaviuor to check the spread of virus in view of the coming festive seasons.

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