BJP, Congress slam Odisha govt over Covid management, CM tweets WHO praise
Participating in an adjournment motion brought by BJP and Congress members on government’s alleged failures in Covid management, Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said all that the government has managed to do is fool a lot of people through fake statistics and statements.Updated: Sep 30, 2020, 21:22 IST
Opposition Congress and BJP on Wednesday slammed the Naveen Patnaik government over its alleged poor management of Covid-19 in the state, accusing it of dressing up figures even as the government claimed that the World Health Organisation has praised Odisha’s effective governance and community-based strategies to fight the pandemic.
Participating in an adjournment motion brought by BJP and Congress members on government’s alleged failures in Covid management, Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said all that the government has managed to do is fool a lot of people through fake statistics and statements.
“In my home district of Bolangir, 29 ventilators in Covid hospitals are not working due to lack of necessary infrastructure. Covid-19 test results are taking a long time to come resulting in deaths. Even the kind of conditions that the Covid patients have to endure in hospitals is sickening. People are dying after they are being forcibly discharged from Covid hospitals. In Sonepur district headquarter hospital, patients could not defecate as there was no water supply for two days. Covid tests are coming down over days as doctors are being told to bring down the numbers. What certificate is the government talking about,” said Mishra.
Similarly, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati too alleged that all the claims of the government of being a model state in Covid management did not reflect on ground. “Though the government claims that ventilators and ICU beds are available in the state, there have been several instances in Bhubaneswar when people have died while trying to arrange beds for their near and dear. The tests are going down to make the Covid statistics look good. Even Lord Jagannath would not pardon the lies that the government is peddling in the name of Covid management. The chief minister should see the reality on ground,” said Bahinipati.
BJP leader Jaynarayan Mishra also criticised the government, saying deaths numbers were being fudged to show that things are in control. “Everyday 10-15 deaths are being shown while the reality is something different. People are not getting beds,” he alleged.
Early in the day, chief minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted an article from WHO website which praised Odisha for early lockdown, setting up the country’s first dedicated Covid-19 hospital, temporary medical camps to manage the huge influx of migrants, multisectoral collaboration, community-based disaster management, community engagement and mentoring support programs.
Health minister Naba Kishore Das also said that Odisha has been doing a lot better in terms of Covid management than other states of India. “While the national mortality rate in the viral disease is at 1.6%, Odisha’s rate is as low as 0.38%. Odisha now has active cases just over 36,000. Out of this 29,000 positive patients are currently in home quarantine, while just 7348 patients are being treated in Covid hospitals,” he said.
“If the government has failed in Covid management, then how these patients are recovering from the serious disease that has claimed more than 800 lives and infected over 2 lakh people in the state,” he asked.
However, Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja said 10,000 people are getting infected daily but the government is only providing data of 3000-4000 people.
The opposition also hit out at the government in getting the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill 2020 passed, saying it was meant to target opposition. “As per the Bill, anybody who dares to question the government would be dragged to court. If this bill is allowed to become a law, time will come when the government will not hesitate to pull the Opposition parties to the court too for raking up issues concerning the common man,” Mishra alleged.
Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik said the penalty provision of Rs 1 lakh and jail provision was actually meant to silence opposition. “Using this provision, the government can get opposition leaders arrested,” he alleged. The Bill has a provision of a jail term of up to two years and a fine amounting up to Rs 1 Lakh for anybody violating the act.
Meanwhile, the state government today said all its offices in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack would function with 50% strength of employees (all staff including Group-A Officers) during the month of October. All state government offices throughout the State will remain closed on Saturdays.