Health services have 'collapsed', situation worse in villages: Akhilesh Yadav on COVID surge in UP

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Lucknow, Apr 20 (PTI) With Uttar Pradesh battling a surge in COVID-19 cases, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday claimed that health services in the state have 'collapsed' and the situation is worse in villages as compared to cities.

Taking a dig at the state government for converting hospitals and other buildings built by the erstwhile SP dispensation into COVID-19 facilities, Yadav said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is 'allergic' to the work carried out by his party during its regime.

UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu also hit out at the state government over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis and said Lucknow has become Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus outbreak began.

Uttar Pradesh has registered a record increase in COVID-19 cases on five of the last seven days.

The state's COVID-19 case count stands at 9,09,405 while 10,159 people have succumbed to the disease so far, according to officials.

'Health services in the state have collapsed,' Yadav said in a statement issued here.

The situation is bad not only in cities. It is worse in villages, where there is no one to hear the voice of the poor villagers, he claimed.

Yadav further said, 'The CM, who is allergic to the work carried out during the SP's regime, is playing with the lives of the people.' The CM did not care about improving the health services. The SP had put forth this demand. But now as the situation is worsening, the government has decided to convert cancer hospital, Haj House, Awadh Shilpgram built during the SP's regime into COVID centres, he said.

'The priority of the BJP government and its CM is to be in power and win elections without caring about the spread of coronavirus even at his rallies. There is no value of people's lives for the BJP,' he added.

Yadav alleged that the BJP government has been befooling people for the last four years.

'Due to the lack of coordination among administrative officers, the situation is worsening day by day,' he claimed.

In another statement, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly and senior SP leader Ram Govind Chowdhury demanded the withdrawal of a state government order to impose a fine of Rs 10,000 on those found without masks for a second time.

'This is a reminder of the British era and the CM should immediately roll back his decision. The Yogi government has handed over the state to vultures who are targeting the common man by realising fines and black marketing essential commodities,' he said.

The party whose PM and CM attended rallies without wearing masks do not have the moral right to penalise the common man for it, Chowdhury said, referring to Modi and Adityanath addressing public meetings in states where assembly elections are underway.

State Congress chief Lallu also attacked the BJP government over its 'inability' to contain the spread of COVID-19.

'Lucknow has become Wuhan. Here, maximum localities are mourning due to deaths... the Yogi Adityanath government has put the people of the state in danger,' he said in a statement.

'Who is responsible for the COVID deaths? Why there is no clear policy for preventing deaths due to the virus? The government should take moral responsibility for the deaths,' he said.

Lallu also alleged that the pace of the vaccination drive in the state is slow.

Earlier in the day, Additional Chief Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters that a total of 1,09,34,566 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people in the state so far. PTI ABN DIV DIV