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Ramp up testing, don’t hide death numbers: Priyanka to Adityanath

“The fight against corona is standing on four pillars across the world i.e. testing, treatment, tracking and vaccination. If you would make the very first pillar fall then how would we defeat this deadly virus?” Priyanka wrote.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
April 28, 2021 6:15:15 am
Priyanka Gandhi, Congress general secretary, Congress, laxity in vaccination, covid-19 vaccination, india news, indian expressPriyanka Gandhi further alleged that the state government's actions are designed to cover up the truth and terrorise both the public and the medical community, which is working tirelessly to save lives. (File photo)

Alleging low testing for Covid-19, along with a shortage of oxygen beds and a sluggish vaccination drive in Uttar Pradesh, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday urged Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ramp up RT-PCR tests, increase the number of beds with oxygen supply and give a financial package to healthcare workers.

“The fight against corona is standing on four pillars across the world i.e. testing, treatment, tracking and vaccination. If you would make the very first pillar fall then how would we defeat this deadly virus?” Priyanka wrote.

Expressing concern over the spread of Covid-19 in villages during the second wave of the pandemic, she wrote, “There is no testing in rural areas and people in the urban areas also are facing a lot of difficulties in getting their tests done. Test reports do not come for several days. In a state with a population of over 23 crores, there are only 126 government test centres and 115 private centres… The biggest concern is that while the rate of coronavirus cases is rising, testing is very low. A large number of cases are not being reported,”

In her 10-point suggestions to tackle the pandemic, Priyanka raised the issue of shortage of oxygen, beds and black marketing of medicines. “If you don’t employ the entire resources of the government with determination in this hour of crisis, the future generations will never forgive you,” she said.

“The Ayushman card scheme has failed. It is not being honoured by any hospital. People are being forced to pay three-four times more for oxygen, Remedesivir and other life-saving drugs,” she said, adding it was difficult for the poor and middle class to get treatment in such a scenario.

She urged the CM to give the status of the ambulance to oxygen tankers so that their movements are not disrupted.

Alleging “under-reporting” of Covid deaths, she told the CM, “This game of under-reporting deaths is being played every day in every district, in every town of UP… On whose directions it is being done… People are not getting wood for cremation, and families have to wait for 12 hours for an ambulance to take their deceased loved ones to the cremation ground.”

Slamming the BJP government for the “sluggish” pace of vaccination in the state as it has inoculated “less than 1 crore people in five months”, she asked the government to explore the possibility of manufacturing vaccines at Bharat Immunological and Biological Corporation in Bulandshahr. “Uttar Pradesh will need at least Rs 10,000 crore to vaccinate 60 per cent of the state’s population, while it has allocated only Rs 40 crore,” she wrote.

“Whatever may be your motive behind the order to book people who are exposing the truth of this pandemic and confiscate their property, please first focus your attention on trying to control this deadly virus.,” she added.

The Congress leader demanded a special financial package for healthcare workers and some relief measures for shopkeepers, small businesses, weavers and labourers hit by the pandemic. Asking the government to revive all the Covid-19 hospitals, the Congress leader suggested the use of Aanganwadi and ASHA health workers in the distribution of Covid kits, medicine and equipment in rural areas.

Govt lying on oxygen availability: Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party chief AKhilesh Yadav on Tuesday accused the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh of lying on the issue of availability of oxygen for coronavirus patients, and said it was sad that people were wandering in search of the life-saving gas. “Never before has there been so much insult to the truth,” he said.

“The way in which the people of Uttar Pradesh are wandering for getting oxygen is very sad and even more sad is that the BJP government is lying publicly that there is no shortage. This is a moral offence.?Now even the supporters of BJP are bound to lose their loved ones in this lie.”

With PTI inputs

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