KCR Govt must increase hospitals, not crematoria for Covid patients: Gudur

Hyderabad, August 2: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy expressed deep concern over reports of State Government setting up five new LPG-based crematoria in Hyderabad in view of rising number of Coronavirus cases in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

As per media reports, the LPG-fuelled crematoria are likely to be installed at Hindu cremation grounds in the Charminar, Khairtabad, Secunderabad, Uppal and Kukatpally zones in the next 15 days with each having a capacity of cremating 12 bodies every day. "The Covid-19 death toll in Telangana, as being shown in official Media Bulletin never exceeded 15 on any given day. If the official figures are genuine, then why the State Government is making arrangements to cremate 60 more bodies in addition to the existing crematoria. Are the authorities expecting the situation to worsen further or are they hiding an already worsened condition from the people?" he asked.

"Governments which do not establish hospitals for common people, end up building crematoria. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao will be remembered in history as the leader who did nothing to save people's lives, but made arrangements for their last rites. KCR Govt has wasted a lot of precious time to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. It miserably failed to trace and test the suspects. Consequently, the infected people moved freely in the society while spreading the virus among the rest of the population. Further, hospitals were not upgraded on time which increased the death toll," he alleged.

Narayana Reddy said that the Chief Minister should've dedicated all resources to handle the Covid-19 situation in the initial stages. However, KCR focussed on diverting people's attention and hiding real numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Despite a rise in both the number of positive cases and deaths, the State Government is not upgrading the hospitals by ensuring supply of quality oxygen and required medicines. He said several deaths have been reported in the last few days where patients in government hospitals died due to non-availability of oxygen.

The Congress leader also alleged that the details of infrastructure and bed occupancy in government hospitals being provided by the Director of Public Health in the daily Media Bulletin was incorrect and misleading. "As per the Media Bulletin, of 18,547 Active Cases (as on 1st August till 8 pm), as many as 12,001 were getting treatment in Home/Institutional Isolation. It means that a total of 6,546 are admitted in hospitals. The bulletin says that a total of 2,397 beds including 829 Isolation; 1,298 Oxygen and 270 ICU beds in government hospitals were occupied. This means that the remaining 4,149 patients are getting treatment in 94 private hospitals. The Health Minister should clarify as to why a majority of patients were preferring treatment in private hospitals if the government hospitals have good facilities?" he asked.

"Although the government is claiming that 15,810 beds in government hospitals are vacant, many patients were being denied admission or being subjected to mental harassment which is forcing the relatives to approach private hospitals," he alleged.

Narayana Reddy said as per the official figures provided in the Media Bulletin, presently there are 15,810 beds vacant in government hospitals which include 3,365 Oxygen and 1,346 ICU beds. Similarly, as many 2,420 beds, including 780 oxygen and 421 ICU beds (Ventilator/CPAP) are vacant in 94 private hospitals. This clearly means that the Telangana Government was not equipped to handle the situation if the Covid-19 cases increase at the same pace. "The number of Covid-19 cases have doubled in the last 20 days. There were 33,402 cases on 12th July and they've increased to 66,667 on 1st August with 18,547 Active Cases. Therefore, how would the government handle the situation if Active Cases gets doubled in the next 15-20 days?" he said.

The Congress leader said that instead of finding means to tamper with the data of Covid cases and deaths and exploring means for fast cremation of bodies, KCR Government should focus on strengthening the health infrastructure so as to save as many lives as possible, he demanded.