Health workers carry a Covid-19 patient to the OPD ward of a hospital, as cases surge in record numbers across the country, in Ahmedabad. (PTI)
Health workers carry a Covid-19 patient to the OPD ward of a hospital, as cases surge in record numbers across the country, in Ahmedabad. (PTI)

Congress blames BJP for ‘deliberately enabling’ Covid crisis in Gujarat

MLA Paresh Dhanani from Amreli, Gujarat, also blamed the BJP for creating an artificial shortage of remdesivir in the state
By Umar Sofi
UPDATED ON APR 22, 2021 07:25 PM IST

Congress on Thursday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for “deliberately enabling” the rise of Covid-19 cases in Gujarat and “creating a huge medical crisis in the state”.

In a press conference chaired by All India Congress Committee (AICC) Gujarat in-charge Rajeev Satav, Congress blamed the BJP government for creating a crisis in Gujarat by conducting the cricket matches at Narendra Modi Stadium despite the imminent threat of the virus spreading in the state.

Congress MLAs Paresh Dhanani and Amit Chavda were also a part of the conference that was held via video.

“There is a crisis in the state. First, they conducted the Namaste Trump event and got thousands infected, and later they held cricket matches amid rising cases. Today there is hardly any oxygen bed available in the state, 14 districts don’t even have a CT scan or RT-PCR test available. It’s a government-made disaster in the state which is being showcased as the crown Gujarat Model all around the country,” Satav said.

Also Read | Top central govt official steps in to ensure smoother interstate oxygen movement

Hitting out at the state in-charge of BJP, Satav said that if the government in its affidavit to Gujarat high court agreed that there was a severe shortage of the remdesivir in the state, how were there 10,000 remdesivir injections in the possession of its state president and other BJP leaders.

MLA Paresh Dhanani from Amreli, Gujarat, also blamed the BJP for creating an artificial shortage of remdesivir in the state.

“They stockpiled the remdesivir at the time of a medical emergency and created a shortage only to showcase themselves later as messiahs by distributing the hoarded medicine,” Dhanani said.

Earlier, Dhanani had also filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat high court for “illegal and unauthorised distribution of remdesivir injection” at the BJP’s Surat office.

Blaming the state government for mismanagement and the home minister and Prime Minister for ignoring their home constituencies, Satav added that the state government was acting insensitively.

“The government recently said that there was no shortage of hospital beds and patients were being too choosy about hospitals, it’s very insensitive on their part. There is no oxygen in the state, ventilators are unavailable. Our leaders have written over 387 letters to BJP, but there has hardly been any response. It is horrific that a state which has a double-engine government with BJP at the Centre cannot get access to basic healthcare,” Satav said.

Amit Chavda, the Congress MLA from Anklav consistency, also slammed the state government for their mismanagement of the situation. Chavda accused the state government of masking the actual Covid-19 figures in the state.

“If we go by the figures of the state government, the total number of infected people in the state is not over 87,000, which accounts for just 0.5% of the total population. Is the situation of healthcare infrastructure so bad that it could not even stand a medical emergency of just 0.5% of its population?” Chavda questioned, adding that for the first time in the history of Gujarat so many people had died because of the irresponsibility of the state government.

Meanwhile, BJP called the allegations “baseless and politically motivated”.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, BJP’s national spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam said that BJP leaders were committed to serving the people in any crisis and the allegations levelled by Congress were not just meant to degrade BJP’s spirit of service but to hide their own incapacities.

Reacting on whether stationing these medicines at party offices was right given the acute shortage in hospitals, Zafar said that the government was committed to lending the medical supply to the hospitals and by distributing the medicines from party offices, BJP was just assisting those who could not procure them outside hospitals.

“There is a shortage issue and the work is being done to make the medicines available in bulk. However, distribution of medicines from the party offices does not qualify as hoarding and does not affect any supply of hospitals. It’s just an attempt to increase the availability of the medicines to people and help them,” Zafar said.

India has reported over 300,000 Covid-19 cases and 2,104 deaths in the last 24 hours. This is the highest increase in the daily infections and deaths since the pandemic broke out.

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