The government has called an all-party meeting on December 4, which will be the second such meeting since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic situation, vaccine network are likely to be discussed in the meeting, to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Floor leaders of all parties from both houses of Parliament have been called for the meeting, which will be held via video conference at 10.30am.
Apart from PM Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, home minister Amit Shah, health minister Harsh Vardhan are likely to be present at the meeting. Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi and minister of state Arjun Ram Meghwal will also attend the meeting.
Discussions may take place on the holding of the winter session of Parliament, which may get clubbed with the Budget session that usually begins in the last week of January. Congress leader Manish Tewari on Thursday demanded that the winter session of Parliament be convened at the earliest to debate various pressing issues facing the country like the ongoing farmers’ protest against agriculture reform laws, Chinese aggression and the Covid-19 crisis.
As far as Covid-19 in concerned, the all-party meeting follows a few crucial meetings that took place in the last few weeks. On November 24, PM Modi held a video conference with the chief ministers and other representatives of all states and union territories and discussed the government’s vaccine preparation. On November 28, the PM visited the vaccine development sites in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune. On November 30, OM Modi interacted with three other vaccine-makers — Gennova Biopharma, Biological E and Dr Reddy’s.
As many as five vaccine candidates are in advanced stages of development. While four are in Phase II-III and one is in Phase-I-II trials.
An estimated one crore frontline health workers will receive the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine whenever it becomes available, with around 92 per cent of government hospitals and 55 per cent of private hospitals across all states and union territories providing data identifying the workers.
(With agency inputs)