Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah targeted the BJP-led Union and state governments over the lack of preparedness and efficiency in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a series of tweets, the Leader of Opposition in the state detailed his criticism regarding the handling of the situation following a press conference held in Bengaluru on the same issue.
He said according to the government data, there are 4,663 beds out of which 2,694 beds are occupied. There are only 1,969 beds available. “Why did govt not anticipate the need for increased beds in spite of warnings by experts? By now, at least 30,000 beds should have been arranged,” he asked.
He touched upon the issue of lack of coordination within the Health Department and other arms of the administration which is leading to lack of information to patients. He pointed out that patients are forced to wait on roads and due to lack of adequate ambulances, personal vehicles are being used by families.
He also raised the issue of controversial videos showing dumping of bodies of COVID-19 victims in burial pits.
“Government has failed to arrange for a decent funeral of dead patients. It is heart wrenching to see the way the bodies are treated during burials. It is unfortunate that the government has not finalised cremation protocol even after so many days,” Siddaramaiah alleged.
Besides pointing at the shortcomings in terms of making necessary arrangements for the Karnataka government, the ex-CM also levelled corruption allegations against the BJP government.
“The state government has indulged in corrupt practices in the procurement of medical supplies for COVID-19 management. The CM of Karnataka claims to have spent Rs 3,228 cr but the same would have cost around Rs 1,400 cr if prevailing market prices are considered,” Siddaramaiah alleged.
He further alleged, “The CM of Karnataka has procured medical supplies at double the actual market cost. Close to Rs 2,200 cr has been misappropriated by various departments in their COVID-19 management efforts. There has to be a detailed investigation into this.”
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre, he said, “About 60,000 Cr is collected in PM Cares Fund. But only 3,200 crores is spent by PMO. What happened to the rest of the money? How much of the spent money has helped Karnataka? Only a detailed white paper by both the governments can answer”
He also raised the issue of low testing in the country compared to other affected countries. He said, “India is lagging behind in the testing rates. USA has tested 1 lakh for every million population, Italy 90 thousand, England 75 thousand and India is still around 6,900 tests for a million population.”