Union Health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday hit out at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi saying that if the Congress questioned him on the latest Covid protocols, it would be obstructing him from discharging his duties.
“If someone thinks that how can a minister question them, then what can we do about their mindset? Questioning me on this is like obstructing me from doing my duty,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Mandaviya on Tuesday wrote to Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, asking them to ensure that Covid-19 guidelines are strictly followed during the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra otherwise suspend the rally.
“Three Rajasthan MPs informed me that several participants at Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra were diagnosed with Covid-19. The Himachal Pradesh CM also tested positive after attending the yatra. I took experts’ views and wrote to Rahul Gandhi stating that Covid protocol should be followed in Bharat Jodo Yatra in order to ensure that Covid-19 doesn’t spread in Rajasthan,” Mandaviya said.
“It is my duty to ensure that Covid19 doesn’t spread in the country. If someone thinks that how can a minister question them, then what can we do about their mindset? Questioning me on this is like obstructing me from doing my duty,” Mandaviya said.
Mandaviya’s statement comes on the back of the ministry’s direction to states asking them to send all positive samples for genome sequencing amid a sudden surge in COVID -19 cases in several countries.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to all states and Union Territories on Tuesday: “In view of the sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, USA, Korea, Brazil, China it is essential to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track the variants through the Indian SARS-Cov2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network. Such an exercise will enable timely detection of newer variants, if any, circulating in the country and will facilitate undertaking of requisite public health measures for the same.”
On Wednesday, Mandaviya’s ministry directed airport officials to screen flyers for Covid-19 from China. Passengers from other nations where incidents of Covid are on a rise may be subjected to random sampling for Covid-19.