Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 7
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and his deputy Ashwani Choubey were on Wednesday dropped from the Council of Ministers on account of mismanagement of the second wave of Covid pandemic.
Vardhan has been dropped as health minister for the second time since the NDA government took charge in 2014.
It’s unclear whether Vardhan has also been asked to resign from his other ministries, which include earth sciences and science and technology.
Top government sources said Vardhan was not seen as proactive on predicting and managing the ferocious second wave of the pandemic.
Much of pandemic management was left to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took severe flak as people died for want of medical oxygen at the height of the second wave in May.
The scale of the pandemic was not assessed even to marginal extents and the government was slammed for presiding over a massive human tragedy as people died due to lack of beds in hospitals, lack of oxygen with bodies being disposed of in the Ganga.
The ferocity of the second wave of the pandemic had the world questioning India’s ability to handle the infection, it having done well during the first wave that had peaked in September last year.
Overwhelmed burial and cremation grounds, insufficient planning and infrastructure, and bodies in the Ganga dented India’s global image with the PMO left to salvage the situation.
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