Wipro founder and philanthropist Azim Premji has urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to engage the private sector and speed up the country’s Covid-19 vaccination effort. He said involving the private sector may help the country cover 50 crore vaccinations against Covid in just two months.
“I think if the government was to engage the private industry quickly, we can rest assured that we can achieve a coverage of 500 million people within 60 days,” Premji said.
“That’s a practicality,” he told the finance minister while participating in an interaction at the Bangalore chamber of industry and commerce. He added that the vaccination rate will get a big boost if private participation is allowed.
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Premji went on to say that the vaccines against Covid-19 have been developed in record time and the task now is to administer them in large proportions.
While Azim Premji agreed that the government is doing the best it can, he suggested that private participation will help to improve the rate of vaccinations.
“There is a possibility that we can get the Serum Institute to supply vaccine at about Rs 300 per shot, and hospitals, private nursing homes can administer this at a cost of Rs 100 per shot. So with 400 rupees a shot, it is possible to do mass vaccination of the population,” Premji said.
“I think it is very important that the government does consider this as a major supplementation to the effort,” he added.
Premji, who has donated generously to help battle Covid-19, highlighted how the pandemic had proved to be a “wake up call” to fix public healthcare systems in the country.
As of today, over 1.11 crore frontline and health workers have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
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