LUCKNOW: Despite repeated assurances of Uttar Pradesh government that it was taking all efforts to contain the Covid pandemic in the BJP-ruled state, some Parliament members of the ruling party have been flagging the scathing issues faced by the public in their constituencies.
On Sunday Union minister and eight-time BJP MP from Bareilly constituency, Santosh Gangwar wrote to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, highlighting the problems faced by Covid patients and their families.
The veteran politician of the ruling party has also suggested some measures to improve the healthcare facilities in the district as well as the state.
Gangwar has alleged that senior officers of the state medical department in Bareilly district were not attending phone calls of patients and attendants.
The union minister also raised the issue of people storing oxygen cylinders in their house as a precautionary measure, which was adding to the scarcity of medical oxygen in the district.
There is an urgent need for identifying such people who are unnecessarily storing oxygen or are even black-marketing the cylinders, the MP said.
He also raised the issue of patients being forced to run from one hospital to another in the name of referral letter. He suggested the UP CM to set up oxygen plants in Bareilly to ease in dealing with the increased demand of oxygen in the state.
While pointing fingers at black-marketing of essential medical equipment used in hospitals, Gangwar suggested the chief minister that prices of medical equipment should be capped, while private hospitals registered under MSME should be given fiscal support.
Just two days ago, BJP’s Lok Sabha member from Kanpur, Satyadev Pachauri had written a letter to the UP CM, mentioning that Covid-19 patients weren’t getting good treatment and many of them were losing lives outside their homes, outside hospitals or even in ambulances in Kanpur in want of adequate life-saving treatment.
Pachauri had also suggested that the UP government should make all possible preparations now for combating the expected third wave of the fatal viral infection.
Prior to it, Kaushal Kishor, BJP MP from Mohanlalganj in Lucknow district, too had written to the CM raising concern over shortage of medical oxygen, life-saving medicines and other necessary hospital equipment in Lucknow district.
Meanwhile, Opposition Congress and Samajwadi Party on Sunday accused the Uttar Pradesh government of making false claims about controlling the COVID-19 situation in the state and "manipulating data".
They alleged that the administrative machinery and health services in the state are "completely paralysed" and the pandemic is spreading fast in villages as migrants returning home are not being tested.
For days now, Uttar Pradesh has figured among the 10 biggest contributors to India's COVID-19 tally.
According to an official statement, the state recorded 23,333 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday that pushed its tally to 15,03,490 while 296 more fatalities took the death toll to 15,464.
Every day, hundreds of COVID-19 deaths are being reported in Uttar Pradesh and most of them are due to the shortage of oxygen or medicines, state Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said in a statement.
This is frightening, but more frightening is the "manipulation of figures" by the government.
But those who are losing their near and dear ones are exposing the government's claims, he said.
The state government is trying to act like an ostrich by burying its head in the sand, he added.
Citing official data, Lallu said in the week starting April 24, 66 COVID-19 deaths were reported from Kanpur but according to data collected from crematoria, 462 people were cremated.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said statements made by the Uttar Pradesh government claiming that coronavirus has been controlled in the state can prove to be more fatal than the pandemic.
Coronavirus is spreading fast in villages.
Labourers reaching their villages are not being tested.
The administrative machinery and health services are "completely paralysed", he claimed.
Yadav further claimed that BJP MLAs and MPs are now openly expressing their "anger" over the functioning of the state government.
"In Bareilly, Union minister, MP and MLAs have conveyed the reality to the chief minister," he said.
The "bitter truth" is that the state is drowning in gloom due to deaths while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is busy undertaking air trips, he added.
Union minister Santosh Gangwar has complained to Adityanath about COVID-19 management in Bareilly, saying officials don't take calls and government health centres send back patients for "referrals" from the district hospital.
The Union Labour minister, in a letter that was handed over to Adityanath during his visit to Bareilly on Saturday, has also complained about the "big shortage" of empty oxygen cylinders and the high prices of medical equipment in his Lok Sabha constituency.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh surged to 15,03,490 on Sunday as 23,333 more people tested positive for the disease while 296 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 15,464.
This is the second consecutive day when daily deaths have remained below the 300-mark.
On Saturday, the state had recorded 298 COVID-19 deaths.
Lucknow reported the highest number of fresh cases at 1,436, followed by 1,425 in Meerut and 1,042 in Saharanpur, the Uttar Pradesh government said in a statement issued here.
Of the 296 deaths, 26 each were reported from Lucknow and Kanpur, 15 from Jhansi, 13 from Bahraich, 11 from Ghazipur and 10 from Gautam Buddh Nagar, it said.
As many as 34,636 COVID-19 patients were discharged in a day after they recovered from the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 12,54,045, the statement said.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 2,33,981, it stated.
More than 2.29 lakh samples were tested in the state the previous day.
With this, over 4.29 crore samples have been tested so far, it said.
(With PTI Inputs)