Former Prime Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Manmohan Singh writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggests measures to tackle COVID19 surge across India

He have written 5 Suggestive Steps to taken to reduce the Covid-19 cases in India

The letter goes as below

It is now over a year since the world, and India, have been grappling with
the Covid 19 pandemic. Many parents have not seen their children, living in
different cities, in over a year. Grandparents have not seen their grandchildren.
Teachers have not seen children in the classroom. Many have lost their source
of livelihood, and several millions have been pushed back into poverty. With the
second surge that we are currently witnessing. people are beginning to wonder
when their lives will get back to normal.

There are many things we must do to fight the epidemic but a big part of
this effort must be ramping up the vaccination programme. I have some
suggestions in this regard. In making them I want to emphasise that I am putting
them forward for your kind consideration in a spirit of constructive cooperation
in which I have always believed and acted upon.

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.

Second, the government should indicate how this expected supply will
be distributed across states based on a transparent formula. The central
government could retain 10 percent for distribution based on emergency
needs, but other than that, states should have a clear signal of likely
availability so that they can plan their roll out.

Third, 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. For example, states may want to designate school teachers, bus
three-wheeler and taxi drivers, municipal and panchayat staff, and
possibly lawyers who have to attend Courts as frontline workers. They
can then be vaccinated even if they are below 45.

Fourth, over the past few decades, India has emerged as the largest
vaccine producer in the world, thanks to policies adopted by the
government and robust intellectual property protection. The capacity is
largely in the private sector. At this moment of a public health
emergency. the Government of India must proactively support vaccine
producers to expand their manufacturing facilities quickly by
providing funds and other concessions. In addition, I believe this is the
time to invoke the compulsory licensing provisions in the law, so that a
number of companies are able to produce the vaccines under a licence.

This, Irecall had happened earlier in the case of medicines to deal with
the HIVIAIDS disease. As far as Covid-19 is concerned, I have read that
Israel has already invoked the compulsory licensing provision and there
is an ovenwhelming case for India to do so as well quickly.

Fifth, since domestic supplies are limited, any vaccine that has been
cleared for use by credible authorities such as the European Medical
Agency or the USFDA, should be allowed to be imported without
insisting on domestic bridging trials. We are facing an unprecedented
emergency and, I understand, experts are of the view that this relaxation
is justified in an emergency. The relaxation could be for a limited period
during which the bridging trials could be completed in India. All
consumers of such vaccines could be duly cautioned that these
vaccines are being allowed for use based on the approval granted by
the relevant authority abroad.

The key to our fight against Covid 19 must be ramping up the vaccination
effort. We must resist the temptation to look at the absolute numbers being
vaccinated, and focus instead on the percentage of the population vaccinated
Currently, India has vaccinated only a smal fraction of its population. I am
certain that with the right policy design, we can do much better and very quickly

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