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3 Jun, 2021 14:30

Indian officials ‘need to be charged with manslaughter’ over Covid vaccine shortage: Delhi High Court blasts Modi’s government

Indian officials ‘need to be charged with manslaughter’ over Covid vaccine shortage: Delhi High Court blasts Modi’s government

A high court in India has issued a stern warning to federal officials, claiming that some people should be “charged with manslaughter” for failing to realize the “untapped potential” of the state's vaccine manufacturing capacity.

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court said there was a “tearing emergency” in the country which underlined a great need to fast-track Covid-19 shot approvals and work with the wealth of vaccine manufacturers in India.

“There is such an element of palpable disquiet throughout the country. Everybody wants the vaccine. You have to cut this [process] short and somehow make the vaccine available,” a division bench of Justices Manmohan and Najmi Waziri said.

“What answer will you give for the loss of lives because of [the] lack of vaccines?” the court asked of the government, blasting officials for the mismanagement of India’s vaccine manufacturing capacity. 

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The judges added that some people should be charged with manslaughter for the failure to deliver enough vaccines while sitting on “untapped potential” to produce lifesaving jabs.

On Thursday, the Indian government pre-ordered 300 million doses of unapproved Covid-19 vaccine made by domestic drugmaker Biological-E in an attempt to further speed up the country’s inoculation program, which has only managed to fully dose some 4.7% of India’s adults.

In January, Delhi approved Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin jab despite its not having finished phase three trials. The move was widely criticized by medical experts in India.

Also on rt.com India pre-orders 300 million doses of unapproved Covid-19 vaccine by domestic drugmaker Biological-E

Despite being heralded as the ‘pharmacy of the world’, India has struggled to produce as many vaccines as it requires for its population and even cancelled exports amid a deadly spike in domestic cases.

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