A political bickering erupted over assistance rushed to India by countries around the world to help deal with the vicious second wave of Covid-19, with the Opposition accusing the Modi government of allowing life-saving equipment to collect dust at airport terminals.
Congress claimed a lack of transparency in international assistance allocation and demanded to know which states or organisations had obtained it. The opposition also cited claims that many oxygen concentrators were left unattended at airport cargo facilities.
The Modi government categorically denied any delay in clearing international assistance. According to a health ministry announcement, the Centre has designed a streamlined and systematic process for efficient allocation and delivery of the support supplies obtained.
The Union Health Minister went on to say that this assistance included,841 oxygen concentrators, 1,814 oxygen cylinders, nine oxygen generation facilities, and more than 2.8 lakh Remdesivir vials.
The Health Ministry said in a statement that nearly 4 million donated products, covering 24 categories, have already been distributed to 38 health care facilities throughout the country. On the field, though, several state and local governments say that the federal government has given them little or no information about how or when they will get relief.
However, though the first shipment of Covid-19 assistance arrived in India on April 25, the Centre took seven days to formulate the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for administering these life-saving medical supplies among states, even as hospitals pleaded for oxygen and people died from the deadly disease. Why, India wonders?