May 10, 2021 12:24:33 am
HARYANA BJP leader and former minister Sampat Singh on Sunday alleged “underutilisation of resources” to tackle the Covid pandemic in the state, pointing to “such instances” at the government hospital in Hisar. State government officials, however, claimed that resources were being used “judiciously,” keeping in view the availability of oxygen.
Sampat Singh, a six-time MLA who handled several departments in the Devi Lal and Chautala governments, joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 Assembly polls after leaving the Congress. He alleged, “At the government hospital in Hisar, only eight of 14 ventilators are being used. There is an ultrasound machine but no radiologist to operate it. Almost one-third of a total 55 sanctioned posts of doctors are vacant. Also, five doctors are not coming to duty as they have tested positive for Covid-19. Some posts of paramedical staff are also vacant.”
Asked about Singh’s allegations, a senior officer of the state health department told The Indian Express: “There was less supply of oxygen. Ventilators need more oxygen and we have to use it rationally. The remaining six ventilators [at Hisar hospital] will also be operationalised soon.” Hisar Chief Medical Officer Ratna Bharti was not available for comment but a senior administrative officer in Hisar claimed, “All our ventilators are functional as and when needed. As soon as we get oxygen supply, we can use them.”
On the issue of vacancies, the official said, “These are policy matters decided at a higher level”. Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij was not available for comment but state Health Service Director General Dr Veena Singh told The Indian Express that “five more ventilators are being sent for Hisar.”
Urging the Centre and the state government to declare the pandemic as a national disaster, Sampat Singh alleged, “The government took the first wave of the pandemic lightly. Health infrastructure was not ramped up. This neglect resulted in the second wave hitting the country like a tsunami.”
Singh also suggested that the government should utilise existing buildings, especially of universities, as Covid care centres by providing facilities such as oxygen. When asked, a senior officer of the health department said such matters are decided “at the government level.”
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