NEW DELHI, Mar 2: The Union health ministry has taken a strong exception to the Karnataka minister BC Patil getting Covid-19 vaccine at home. The video and pictures of health officials administering the vaccine at Patil’s home were widely shared on social media where people talked about the misuse of processes by the minister.
“This is not allowed in the protocol. We have asked for a report from the state government,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
The minister’s wife was also administered the vaccine at her home in Hirekerur, about 336 km from state capital Bengaluru.
The minister was criticized by his own cabinet colleague. The Karnataka’s health minister K Sudhakar said there was no provision for people to take the vaccine at home. He told reporters that the health department would issue circulars that would restrict officials from visiting the homes of any person willing to be vaccinated.
Patil, however, attempted to defend is action. “There were many people in the house and I would have to wait for around half an hour at the hospital is why I took it at home,” the minister told a local Kannada news channel on Monday, after the news broke out.
He added that there were certain privileges and his decision to take the vaccine at home cannot be considered wrong. Patil said that he had only called health officials home for the vaccine.
The news was being particularly talked about after Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many central ministers went to hospitals to get themselves inoculated in the second phase of nationwide vaccination drive which began on Monday.
The development gave fuel to opposition parties in Karnataka to attack the BS Yediyurappa government.
“In this government, anyone can do anything they please,” said HD Kumaraswamy, former chief minister and leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S).
Patil had tested positive for Covid-19 in August last year.