Hyderabad, September 24: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy has strongly condemned Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for not including treatment of Coronavirus under Aarogyasri Scheme.
Narayana Reddy, in a media statement on Thursday, said that the Chief Minister had given an assurance on the floor of Telangana Legislative Assembly on September 9 that he would consider including Covid-19 treatment under Aarogyasri scheme. He said that the Chief Minister did nothing in this regard in the last 15 days. "Covid-19 cases in Telangana have touched 1.80 lakh mark today and so far, as many as 1,070 people lost their lives. When will KCR react? Is he waiting for the Covid cases figure to touch one million mark or is he waiting for the death toll to cross one lakh?" he asked.
The Congress leader said that the Covid-19 pandemic has apparently reached Stage-3 in Telangana State. Even after six months, there are no signs of any slowdown in Covid-19 cases despite manipulation of real figures by the State Government. He said many middle-class and poor people were not coming forwards to test themselves for Covid-19 with the fear of how they would manage treatment if found positive. He said the fear of lack of facilities in public hospitals and exorbitant bills in private hospitals were keeping away a majority of people from getting themselves tested for Covid-19 despite them having mild symptoms. "This behaviour will change if the State Government offers free treatment for Covid-19 by including under Aarogyasri scheme," he said.
Narayana Reddy pointed out that as many as 1,79,246 cases of Covid-19 were registered in Telangana as on September 23 (till 8 pm). Of them, as per official figures, as many as 1,48,139 patients have recovered. "On an average, if each patient had spent Rs. 1 lakh for his/her treatment, then common people had spent at least Rs. 1500 Crore for their purse," he said adding that the real amount was much higher as private hospitals have charged Rs. 5-10 lakh for treatment of each patient.
The Congress leader said thousands of families have lost all their savings, sold properties and jewellery and fell into huge debts to arrange money for Covid-19 treatment. "The State Government could have saved these families from financial trouble if it would have included Covid-19 treatment under Aarogyasri in the beginning itself," he said and added that thousands of other families would face a similar fate if CM KCR further delays the inclusion of Coronavirus treatment.
Narayana Reddy said that the State Government was boasting of having a high recovery rate of 82.64%. While making such claims, the State Government should also give a thought to the fact that most of the patients paid a heavy price in getting cured from the deadly disease.
He demanded that the Chief Minister immediately issue orders to include Covid-19 treatment under Aarogyasri. Else, he warned that the Congress party would a massive agitation to siege Pragathi Bhavan.