Published On: Fri, Oct 23rd, 2020

Vaccine promise is election issue in India state

NEW DELHI (AP) — A promise of free COVID-19 vaccination has become an issue in key state elections in India.

Members of the festival organizing team at the Kali Bari Hindu temple pray via live transmission on the first day of Durga Puja celebrations in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Most of the festival festivities are being scaled down following the health officials warning about the potential for the coronavirus to spread during the religious festival season, which is marked by huge gatherings in temples and shopping districts. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made the promise when releasing the ruling Hindu nationalist party’s manifesto for elections that begin in Bihar state next week.

Every Bihar resident will be given vaccinated for free when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, she said, adding at least three vaccines are in the final trial stage and are on the cusp of production in the country.

The promise angered the Congress and other opposition parties who accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party of politicizing the pandemic and playing on people’s fears.

Bihar is India’s third-largest state with about 122 million people.

India added fewer than 60,000 new cases for a fifth day Friday, with the 54,366 new cases taking the overall tally past 7.7 million. It has the second-most cases in the world behind the U.S., though cases have declined in recent weeks. Modi and others have urged continued vigilance during ongoing religious festivals and the cold season.

The Health Ministry also reported 690 deaths in the past 24 hours, raising total fatalities to 117,306.


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by The Sen Times staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: AP


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