Captain Amarinder Singh government in Punjab sold all the Covaxin doses it had procured under state quota to private hospitals in the state at a premium. The order to this effect was passed by the chief secretary under the supervision of the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. The state govt had procured 1.14 lakh doses of Covaxin from Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech at a cost of INR 420 per dose. The Punjab government sold it all to the private hospitals at the rate of INR 1060 per dose. The private hospitals are charging over INR 1500 per dose from individuals. All these doses were supposed to be administered to the people free of cost at government centres. The Punjab government was crying about the extreme shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses in the state in the months of April and May. Because of the ongoing farmers’ protest in the state, Covid-19 cases have been rising sharply. Sukhbir Singh Badal, SAD president and former deputy chief minister of Punjab demanded a High Court monitored probe in the scam. He tweeted, “.@Akali_Dal_ demands a high court probe into diversion of vaccines to private players at hefty margins to create artificial shortage. Vaccines procured @ Rs 400 /dose sold to private hosp for Rs 1060 and are available to common man at Rs 1560. This is a scam @drharshvardhan.” Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is fighting an internal battle for leadership with Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu. Amarinder Singh is in Delhi to meet the party leadership to reach a compromise deal with Sidhu.
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