NEW DELHI: The Centre on Wednesday assured the Rajya Sabha that there was no need to panic, as the drugs to contain swine flu were in abundance. Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda said the government was very much concerned about the situation and there was no need to panic.
Cutting across the party lines, a united Opposition in the House of Elders expressed concern over the government inability to tackle the epidemic and blamed that government’s ‘casual approach’ towards the epidemic.
Several Opposition members had criticised the government’s ‘failure’ to take measures to contain swine flu, especially in the rural areas. Anand Bhaskar Rapolu of the Congress blamed the Health Ministry of not promoting the other ayurveda, homeopathy and unani medicines to fight H1N1.
Some others said laboratories were charging heavily for blood tests. Basavaraj Patil of the BJP said drugs were not available in government hospitals.
Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party suggested the setting up of a committee of doctors to analyse any medical-related situation in advance, while K C Tyagi of the JD(U) alleged that private hospitals were charging hefty amounts for swine flu treatment. He said adequate masks were not available in the market. Naresh Kashyap of the BSP wanted to know whether the government would provide free medicines and treatment.
Heated arguments continued for almost an hour which put the government on defensive. Health Minister Nadda denied the Opposition’s claim that the government was not serious about the situation.
Nadda said there was no need to go to private hospitals for treatment, as drugs were available in government hospitals along with free laboratory facilities.
The Minister also told the House that the government took precautionary measures well in time, refuting the allegations levelled by some Opposition members.
Total abolition of child labour
New Delhi: During the Zero Hour, a demand on total abolition of child labour was raised in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. S. Ranjeeta Ranjan (Congress) made a strong plea that government should ensure that the employment of children in all sectors is banned.
‘Modi Invited as PM, not as BJP Member’
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav justified his invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his grand nephew’s pre-wedding ceremony last week, saying he was the Prime Minister, not of the BJP, but of the country. Speaking during the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, Yadav said: “Some people, including those in my village, were wondering why I invited him to Saifai. I invited him to my village as he is the PM of India, not of BJP.”