BJP govt neglected health sector in 15-year rule: C'garh CM

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Raipur, May 21 (PTI) The BJP government which ruled Chhattisgarh for 15 years neglected the health sector, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said on Friday amid a second wave of coronavirus infections in the state.

Speaking at a function to disburse cash benefits to farmers and cattle-rearers under two state government schemes on the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Baghel said the BJP rule between 2003 and 2018 was marred by 'major medical tragedies like botched cataract post sterilization surgeries, and health infrastructure had completely collapsed'.

He said his government was reviving health infrastructure, adding that, till 2018, there were 279 ICU beds, 1,242 oxygenated beds and 15,001 general beds in hospitals in the state and these had now increased to 729 ICU beds, 7,042 oxygenated beds and 29,667 general beds.

'There wasn't a single HDU (high dependency units) bed but now we have 515 such beds, while the number of ventilators has increased from 204 in 2018 to 593 now. There were 23,497 beds, including ICU, HDU and ventilators, vacant till May 20 morning,' the CM said.

As on May 20, the state has recorded 9,36,423 COVID-19 cases, including 12,295 deaths, while 8,42,662 people have recovered, leaving the state with 81,466 active cases, he said.

The positivity ratio, active patients ratio and death ratio in the state was 11.10 per cent, 8.70 per cent and 1.31 per cent respectively, and the average number of daily tests which was 22,761 in January has increased to 61,794, the CM said.

'The number of cumulative tests per million in the state stands at 2,93,914, while it is 2,38,543 at the national level. Similarly, per day tests per million in Chhattisgarh is 2,317, which is 1,516 at the national level. Chhattisgarh is at sixth position in the country in terms of vaccinated people above 45 years of age. In all, 63.34 lakh people have been inoculated in the state as on Thursday,' he said.

The CM said the state government would spend Rs 900 crore to provide free vaccines to those in the 18-44 age group, and 1.25 crore doses had been ordered for this segment.

Hitting back, senior BJP MLA and former minister Ajay Chandrakar said the Congress government had failed to tackle the COVID-19 situation and was blaming the previous BJP government to divert the attention of people. PTI TKP BNM BNM BNM