BENGALURU: Amid controversy over money spent by the government for coronavirus treatment, India’s largest Covid Care Centre at Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre, which is meant to house 5,000 patients and 1,500 medical and non-medical staff, was inaugurated on Monday. Revenue Minister and Covid-19 in-charge R Ashoka said that seven items needed for treatment were being purchased, while 11 others are being rented out.
Speaking to the media from the sidelines of the ceremony on Monday, Ashoka said that the Opposition wants accounts on what is being spent by the government. “The government has bought seven items such as beds, fans, mattresses, etc, and 11 other items are still being rented, which will soon be bought too. This list includes partitions, toilets and bathroom fittings. A separate 1,000KV line has been provided by Bescom,” he said.
Ashoka said the Opposition should speak up against private hospitals for denying treatment and beds instead. “I have a list of all the expenses for BIEC, which the Opposition can assess. The state government has spent `4.02 crore on purchasing seven items, Rs 2.9 crore on flooring and `11.9 lakh to rent out items. Some items will be sterilised and handed over to hostels and hospitals later,” he added.To decentralise Covid-19 management, zone and constituency-wise ministers and officials have been roped in, and now, ward-specific officials, MLAs and health officials will be brought on board.
DyCM Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, who was also present at the ceremony, said the government is making arrangements for 30,000 more beds to be placed at exhibition centres, Palace Grounds, apartments and police quarters. “Work to trace and test people with comorbidities, ILI and SARI will start soon. We are working towards getting RT-PCR results in 24 hours and rapid antigen test results in 30 minutes. A total of 23,000 samples are being collected daily, so there is a huge backlog currently. We are strengthening the rapid antigen testing facility to three lakh kits so that more tests can be administered,” he said.MLA SR Vishwanath, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad and Bengaluru Mayor M Goutham Kumar were present at the inauguration ceremony too.