In a view of the worrying surge of Covid-19 cases in the country the veteran Congress leader and the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave five key suggestions to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here are the five suggestions given by Dr. Manmohan Singh:
Ramp up vaccination programme’
“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,” wrote Manmohan Singh in the letter.
Pointing towards the small population vaccinated so far he further said he is very sure that “we can do much better and very quickly with the right policy design.”
“There are many things we must do to fight the epidemic, but a big part of this effort must be ramping up the vaccination programme,” said the veteran leader.
He said that the government needs to very transparent in the distribution of vaccines in the states and must clearly state how it will be distributed in a transparent formula.
“The Centre could retain 10 per cent for distribution based on emergency needs, but other than that, states should have a clear signal of likely availability so that they can plan their rollout,” wrote Manmohan Singh.
Flexibility on vaccination age criteria
In his third suggestion he said that the government should authorize the states in defining their boundaries for vaccinating their frontline workers who can be vaccinated even if they are below 45 years.
Invoking compulsory licensing provision
With many states running short of vaccines the former Prime Minister said that the Centre must assist the vaccine producers in expanding their production by providing funds and allowing concessions.
“In addition, I believe this is the time to invoke the compulsory licensing provision in the law so that a number of companies are able to produce the vaccines under a licence,” he wrote.
He even cited an example of Israel who has already invoked the compulsory licensing provision and India can become the second country to do so, said Dr. Manmohan Singh.
No ‘bridging trials’
Nodding with the Centre’s decision of approving the vaccines approved in other countries the veteran Congress leader also said that with the country already facing the shortage of vaccine the Centre should not delay in approving any vaccine which is authorized to use by the credible authorities like USFDA or the European Medical Agency without focusing on domestic bridging trials.
“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 board,” wrote Dr. Singh.
“I hope the government will accept these suggestions immediately and act on them promptly,” he added in last.