Wipro czar Azim Premji on Sunday urged the Central government to involve private hospitals to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination drive across the country.
"If the government involves private hospitals and nursing homes to join the COVID-19 vaccination drive, about 500 million people can be inoculated in 2 months," he told Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here.
Participating in a post-budget interaction with industry leaders, organised by the Bengaluru Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) here, Premji said scaling up the vaccination drive to cover more people at the earliest was critical though the government was doing its best.
"I suggest that the government should supplement its efforts by involving private parties to accelerate the vaccination programme," he reiterated.
The nationwide vaccination drive, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched on January 16 from New Delhi, has till date covered over 1.1-crore healthcare workers and frontline warriors across the country.
"If more vaccines are produced and supplied to private hospitals and nursing homes, more people can be given the shot through mass vaccination in less time," Premji said.
Calling upon the private sector to be part of the country's growth story, the Finance Minister said India had proved its mettle as a soft power by supplying COVID-19 vaccines to over 100 countries the world over.
"The Union Budget for fiscal 2020-21 facilitates the private sector to energise growth, as it has set a path for this decade. Sustained growth will enable the economy to recover rapidly in the post-pandemic year," she added.
Besides captains of industry and India Inc, noted cardiologist Devi Shetty and former Infosys board member T.V. Mohadas Pai participated in the interaction.