BENGALURU: Given the surge in Covid cases, there is a need for a fifty-fold increase in hospitals beds, and if needed, the government should utilise community halls, college hostels and hotels to set up infrastructure for patients, Opposition leader Siddaramaiah said here on Wednesday.
In a letter to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, the former CM suggested that the government enlist the services of final year medical, paramedical and nursing students to work with experienced doctors, and also use the services of retired doctors.
Hitting out at the government for not taking steps based on recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee, he suggested several measures to tackle the current crisis, including training volunteers willing to work in hospitals. He said the number of ventilator beds needs to be increased significantly, and if ventilators are not available with the State and Central governments, they must be imported. The system needs to be ramped up within the next three or four days, he said. The government must issue a daily bulletin on the increase in the number of beds with oxygen and ventilator support.
Provide relief to daily wagers
Siddaramaiah also urged the Centre to provide relief to daily wage labourers, auto drivers, barbers and others who will be rendered jobless due to the government-imposed 14-day ‘Corona Curfew’.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, he urged the Centre to expand the free rice scheme to 10kg per person for six months, give compensation of Rs 10,000 to all poor families, expand MNREGA work-on-demand basis, increase wages so that workers returning from cities have sufficient access to income opportunities, and reduce the price of fertilisers.
Expressing concern over the surge in numbers, he said the current healthcare infrastructure has already collapsed and cannot sustain the existing caseload. The Central government played the role of catalyst in increasing the number of cases by allowing events like the Kumbh Mela and election campaigns, he alleged.