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Set priority on protecting lives, will not support lockdown: Karnataka Congress

D K Shivakumar also urged the state government to focus on providing appropriate health facilities to people instead of taking up development works.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: April 20, 2021 8:21:56 am
Covid-19 Karnataka reports 36,556 new infections, 161 deaths over weekendPolice stand guard at BMTC bus stand, as coronavirus cases surge in Bengaluru, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Slamming the State government for its failure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar on Sunday said the Congress would oppose any tough measure such as a lockdown that would adversely affect the lives of the poor. He also urged the state government to focus on providing appropriate health facilities to people instead of taking up development works.

“The government should set aside Rs 300 crore to ensure free medical facilities are provided to people till the end of the pandemic. Even after exposing corruption in COVID-19-related purchases last year, we have continued to cooperate with the government. Despite getting a year to prepare better, adequate preparations have not taken place and that’s why the infrastructure is now burdened,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah attacked the Yediyurappa government over the shortage of ICU beds, medical oxygen, and other facilities. “While the people are left to suffer without oxygen and other support systems, the government is just busy solving internal crisis rather than solving public health crisis,” he said.

The former Karnataka CM added that treatment at private hospitals is turning unaffordable to many. “With government hospitals hardly having any vacancy, people are heading towards private hospitals for treatment. Many are unable to afford their (private hospitals’) charges,” he remarked.

Karnataka covid news A medic collects samples for COVID-19 tests at Bengaluru City Railway Station, amid surge in coronavirus cases on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

At the same time, finding an ICU bed with ventilator support continued out to be an uphill task for many as nearly 97 per cent of them across facilities were occupied. As much as 94.74 per cent of the total ICU beds and 92.55 per cent of the HDU (High Dependency Unit) beds continued to be occupied (at 10.30 am on Monday), as per official ‘real-time data’ issued by the state government.

Siddaramaiah also noted that it was high time the state government made Covid-19 treatment free for all patients referred to the private hospitals.

Meanwhile, Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad pointed out that a shortage of Remdesivir, the antiviral drug used to treat critically ill patients diagnosed with Covid-19, was felt in the city.

“Getting lot of distress calls from people across Bengaluru for Remedesivir and pneumonia related drug, many hospitals have no stock left. Request @mla_sudhakar to intervene immediately and crack the whip against the illegal hoarding of the life saving drug,” he tweeted.

However, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar has reiterated over the last three days that there has been no shortage of medical oxygen, Remdesivir, or any vital material required to treat Covid patients. He also urged people to not create “unnecessary panic.”

Meanwhile, the state drugs controller issued a list of 33 private hospitals across the state which were identified by the government to supply 50 to 100 vials of Remdesivir, as per the demand.

Karnataka reported 36,556 more Covid-19 infections were confirmed across the state over the weekend. Of these, 24,197 cases were reported from Bengaluru alone

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