Amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the country, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow emergency use of all the vaccine candidates having required clearances.
In a letter to the prime minister after her meeting with chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, she also sought expansion of categories of people eligible for vaccination on the basis of need and exposure rather than age.
"While it will be necessary on one hand to substantially ramp up our domestic production capacity, it will also be prudent to allow emergency use authorisation of all the vaccine candidates that have the required clearances, without any further delay," she told the prime minister in her letter.
"Accordingly, with enhanced availability, categories eligible for vaccination should be expanded on the basis of need and exposure rather than just age. In the same vein, the numbers allocated to a state has to be based on the prevalence and projection of infection in that particular state," she said, noting that some states have vaccines for three to five days left.
The Congress chief appealed to the prime minister that with restrictions being imposed to stop the spread of the virus, he should put in place a minimum monthly guaranteed income scheme and transfer a sum of Rs 6,000 into every eligible citizen's account.
She also called for exemption from Goods and Services Tax (GST) for all equipment, instruments, medicines being used in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
India hit a new coronavirus infection record with 1,68,912 new cases, the highest single-day rise so far, taking the total tally of cases to 1,35,27,717, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Monday.