New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor criticised Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday over his remarks that no new COVID-19 cases have been detected in 180 districts in the last seven days, saying it is sad to see the health minister occupy an “alternative reality while the nation gasps for breath”.
In his virtual address at the 25th meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Saturday to discuss the pandemic situation, Vardhan said 180 districts have showed no fresh cases in the last seven days, 18 districts reported no cases in 14 days, 54 districts reported no infections in 21 days and 32 districts were bereft of any fresh cases in the last 28 days.
Tagging Vardhan’s remarks, Tharoor tweeted: “It’s sad to see Health Minister @drharshvardhan occupy an alternative reality while the nation gasps for breath and the world sees Indians suffering.”
“Can one imagine Dr Fauci (and White House Chief Medical Adviser) celebrating SMSs, promoting faux medicines & endorsing unproven therapies? No one believes our figures,” the former Union minister said.
Tharoor also tagged another tweet of Harsh Vardhan a few days ago in which he had noted that “our world-class Co-WIN platform ensured smooth rollout of beneficiary registration for Phase 3 of world’s largest vaccine drive”.
Vardhan had mentioned in that tweet that in just three hours, 80 lakh people registered, 1.45 crore SMS were successfully delivered and 38.3 crore API hits recorded.
Tharoor tweeted: “SMS delivered as an indication of success in fighting #Covid?”
The Congress leader also tagged a media report which claimed that the Indian Medical Association has demanded an explanation from Vardhan for “promoting” Patanjali’s Coronil tablet, and tweeted: “Would love to see that explanation! The nation wants to know…”
In another tweet, Tharoor asked why is the government not spending the Rs. 35,000 crore allocated in the budget and instead passing the burden of vaccine costs to states.
“Once Parliament has approved it, why does the government sit on the money? There’s a record GST collection & windfall gains from fuel taxes. Buy vaccines!!” the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.
Tharoor also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Central Vista project by tagging two old media reports — one quoting the PM as saying that every Indian will have a house in 2022 and the other on December 2022 being set as the deadline for readying the PM”s new house as part of the Central Vista project.
“No wonder they call him the Pratham Sevak!!” Tharoor tweeted.