AICC General Secretary Ajay Maken told reporters that instead of taking steps on a war footing to check the outbreak, government has slashed the budget of the Health ministry by Rs 6,000 crore.

He claimed that there was paucity of vaccination and tablets for the treatment of the flu even in the national capital and protective gear for the doctors and nurses were hardly available.

Claiming that there were no testing laboratories in government hospitals, he said that patients are being charged in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 9,000 for the tests in private facilities.

Maken also accused the government of failing to launch an awareness drive through the media to make people aware about the 'dos and don'ts'.

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He lamented that this was happening at a time when there have been full page advertisements in newspapers "to promote personalities".

Latest reports say the death toll has risen to 485 with maximum number of casualties reported from Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Maken also announced a free vaccination camp for AICC reporters from Saturday.

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