Noted Kannada music director, comedian and director Sadhu Kokila on Monday appealed to the general public to be very vigilant about COVID-19 and follow safety protocols. While explaining his ordeal to procure a cylinder of oxygen for his brother's son, Kokila told reporters that he could imagine the plight of the common man who is struggling out there to get treatment for their kith and kin in the worst times of the pandemic.
"Being a celebrity, I had to run from pillar to post just to arrange a single cylinder of oxygen for my brother's son who had tested positive. If this is my condition, just imagine what will be the condition of the common man on the street. It was a horrible experience,‚ÄĚ he said.
"Whatever is coming in the media is absolutely true. There is a shortage of oxygen, medicines, beds and one has to wait for long hours even to cremate or bury the dead ones. This is truly disastrous," he said.
Sadhu Kokila pointed out that cases had come down during the lockdown last year, but increased now ‚Äúbecause we don't take care". While the music director was not wearing a mask during the press conference, he asked reporters in the room, "Now you only tell me how many here are wearing masks? See here (showing the mask) I'm wearing two masks but if I wear it you ask me to remove it."
Kokila told reporters on the sidelines of the ‚Äėmuhurat' of the Kannada film Lagaam that though his brother's son has recovered now, he cannot forget the ordeal which he went through.
On the work front, Kokila was last seen in the film Drona, which starred Shiva Rajkumar in the lead role. The last film for which he had composed music was Masti Gudi.
The state government has on multiple occasions said that there is no shortage in oxygen supply. However, it is evident that is not the case after it has been reported that several hospitals had to shifted patients out as their oxygen supply came to an end and they were unable to procure any more.
There also have been reports of doctors confirming the shortage. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Narayanswamy S, a pediatrician and MD of Athreya Hospital, said they had only an hour‚Äôs supply of oxygen.
Speaking to The Hindu, Prasanna HM, President, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said that many smaller hospitals have been spending much more money to procure oxygen from neighbouring states. He further said that even if hospitals are ready to spend extra, there is not enough supply.
(With inputs from IANS)