Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said the party must play an active role in ensuring full COVID-19 vaccination coverage and address vaccine hesitancy wherever evident.
She also said that the country needs to prepare for the possible third wave and take proactive measures so that children are spared this calamity.
Addressing a meeting of party general secretaries and in-charges of All India Congress Committee in various states, she called upon party leaders and workers to continue to put pressure on the union government to ensure that the daily rate of vaccination trebles so that 75 per cent of the population gets fully vaccinated by end of this year.
Her comments come in the wake of the Bharatiya Janata Party accusing the Congress of aiding vaccine hesitancy.
"On the pandemic, let me say that it is absolutely essential that our party plays an active role in ensuring full vaccination coverage. At the national level, the daily rate of vaccination has to treble so that 75 per cent of our population gets fully vaccinated by end of this year," she said.
"No doubt, this is dependent entirely on the adequacy of vaccine supply.We must continue to put pressure on the Union government which has, at our Party's insistence, finally taken on the responsibility for this. At the same time, we have to ensure that registration takes place, that vaccine hesitancy wherever evident is overcome and vaccine wastage is minimised," she said addressing the party leaders virtually.
Quoting experts, she said they are talking of a possible third wave in a few months from now and some have pointed to the vulnerability of children in the coming months.
"This too requires our urgent attention and we must take proactive measures so that they are spared this calamity.We have to take steps to be better prepared if and when this strikes," she said.
Gandhi said the second wave of coronavirus in the past four months has been devastating for lakhs of families and we must learn from this traumatic experience so that we do not have to experience it yet again.
Talking about the white paper on Covid management brought out by the Congress, she said it is being translated in other languages. It is very detailed and needs to be disseminated widely. I hope this gets done urgently, she told the leaders.
Referring to the rise in fuel prices, the Congress chief said it is causing an intolerable burden on people and agitations have been organised to highlight how it is hurting farmers and millions of families.
Apart from fuel, the prices of many other essential commodities like pulses and edible oils too have skyrocketed causing widespread distress, she noted.
"This price rise is taking place at a time when livelihoods are being lost in unprecedented numbers, when there is mounting unemployment and when economic recovery is not a reality," she said.
Appreciating the relief work carried out by party workers cross the country during the pandemic, she said that this has been done in the Congress Party's finest traditions of community service.
"We must continue our effort. The control rooms will continue to function. The helplines too. Emergency services like ambulances and essential medicines should continue to be provided," Gandhi said.