Image credits: PTI/AP
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on April 20 wished former Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh a "speedy recovery" following his COVID-19 diagnosis. The 88-year-old former PM and senior Congress leader was admitted to All India Insitute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre, New Delhi after testing positive for COVID-19 on April 19. Leaders across party lines have wished for Singh’s speedy recovery. Rajapaksa also said that his prayers are with the former PM.
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on April 20 said that he followed up on former PM’s health with the team that is attending Singh at AIIMS Delhi. Vardhan said that Singh’s condition is stable and "best possible" care is currently being provided to him while praying for his quick recovery. Singh’s COVID-19 diagnosis came as India continues to record an uptick of fresh coronavirus infections. For the past three days, the nation has registered excess of two lakh COVID-19 infections and over 1,000 deaths on a daily basis.
Singh’s diagnosis came a day after he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday to “resist the temptation to look at the absolute number of vaccinations and focus on the percentage of population vaccinated.” The senior Congress leader, in a letter to PM Modi also listed suggestions for consideration “in the spirit of constructive cooperation” including publicising firm orders for the doses placed on various vaccine manufacturers and allowing states more flexibility to plan the roll-out of jabs.
"First, the government should publicise what are the firm orders for doses placed on different vaccine producers and accepted for delivery over the next six months. If we want to vaccinate a target number in this period, we should place enough orders in advance so that producers can adhere to an agreed schedule of supply," Manmohan Singh wrote in his letter.
After suggesting that the Centre should retain at least 10% of the vaccine doses for emergency needs, Singh said, “states should be given some flexibility to define categories of frontline workers who can be vaccinated even if they are below 45 years of age” among total five prolonged suggestions.