Bhubaneswar, Sep 30 (PTI) Opposition BJP and Congress on Wednesday lashed out at the Odisha government in the state Assembly accusing it of failing to manage the pandemic situation created due to COVID-19, a charge dismissed by Health and Family Welfare Minister N K Das.
The issue was debated in the House through an adjournment notice served by the opposition BJP. Blaming the state government for the spread of the infection, Leader of Opposition P K Naik of BJP claimed that the administration failed to manage the migrant workers who returned to Odisha from different hot spots.
Naik said though the migrant workers were housed in different Temporary Medical Centres (TMCs) after their return to the state, they were discharged only after 7-days and allowed to mingle with their family members.
This was a clear violation of the COVID-19 guidelines prepared by the Union Health Ministry and due to this action, the contamination exploded across the state,' the BJP leader said.
The Leader of Opposition also accused the state government of shielding officials involved in the irregularities in the procurement of masks, ventilators and PPEs.
Naik said though the Centre provided as many as 567 ventilators to the state, the administration could not use them. 'About 420 ventilators were not used even as the people died of COVID-19,' the BJP leader said.
Congress member S S Saluja also slammed the government and alleged that the administration was hiding facts and manipulating figures related to the number of new positive cases, recoveries as well as deaths.
While about 10,000 people are getting infections on a daily basis, the state government data shows only 3,000 to 4,000 cases, Saluja alleged, adding that the number of tests has also been reduced. 'We demand at least 500 tests in a block and 5,000 tests in each district per day,' Saluja said.
Justifying his allegation about government hiding data on new positive cases, Saluja said that of the 1,037 tests conducted in the assembly premises ahead of the monsoon session, as many as 184 persons were found positive, which is about 18 per cent. 'If we use the same positive rate, the state should have at least 72 lakh positive cases instead of 2.19 lakh as mentioned by the government,' Saluja said.
Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra saluted the doctors and other health workers for the recovery of more than 1.81 lakh people. He, however, alleged that the patients were not taken care in the COVID-19 facilities. 'A woman COVID-19 patient was misbehaved by an Ayush doctor in Bolangir. However, the matter was deliberately suppressed. I demand an investigation into the incident,' Mishra said.
Health and Family Welfare Minister N K Das in his reply, however, rejected the opposition allegation and claimed that Odishas COVID-10 management was better than many developed states. 'While the mortality rate in the country stands at 1.6 per cent, it is just 0.38 per cent in Odisha,' Das said.
The minister also said that Odisha now has about 36,000 active cases of which 29,000 patients are currently in home quarantine, while just 7,348 patients are in different COVID facilities.
He also rejected opposition allegations of inefficiencies and said that more than 80 per cent patients have recovered.
The minister said COVID-19 was very much under control in the state during the lockdown period. However, the situation deteriorated after migrants returned to Odisha, he said.
On the alleged scam in procurement of medical equipment, the minister said: 'The matter is under investigation of the Lokayukta and strict action will be taken if anyone is found guilty'. PTI AAM SKN RG RG