PM's inept handling of COVID-19 caused second wave: Ex-CM

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Puducherry, Apr 24 (PTI): Former Chief Minister of Puducherry and senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy on Saturday charged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi with inept handling of the COVID-19 situation.

The alleged ineptness has led to the second wave of the virus, said Narayanasamy.

In a video message to the people here, he said,'Lack of proper planning on the part of the Centre to address the need for drugs and oxygen in hospitals for the pandemic- stricken patients has resulted in the unabated rise of cases during the second wave of coronavirus.' He said vaccines were not available in several parts of the country and the Union Health Ministry had also failed to meet the requirements of the hospitals.

The former Chief Minister said people from acroos the country were seen standing in queues to get the vaccines and returning disappointed as the drugs were in shortage.

Medical oxygen too was not available, he said.

The Centre should have come out with proper plans to make the required medicines or vaccines and oxygen available; if this had been done on time the impact of the second wave of the pandemic now sweeping the country could have been faced with much strength, said Narayanaswamy said.

'I will only pin the blame on the Prime Minister for the present situation in hospitals,' he said.

Referring to Puducherry, Narayanasamy said his erstwhile government had made several arrangements and ramped up infrastructure.

He said containment zones were created and they were under constant vigil by the revenue and police.

'All that we have done has now gone for a toss in the Union Territory, causing hardships to the people. The virus is spreading fast now and the number of cases alarming,' he said.

He called upon the territorial administration to ensure that adequate beds, vaccines and other facilities were available in the health facilities.

He took strong exception to the Centrally administered JIPMER here for closing the OPD temporarily in the hospital for non-COVID patients.

'JIPMER caters to patients not only in Puducherry but also from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Hence, the decision to close the OPD during the current situation is unjustified. It will only cause hardships to the patients seeking service of JIPMER in the OPD wing,' he said.

Narayanaswamy said not less than 5,000 people turn up at OPD at JIPMER every day and shutting the OPD would be great injustice to the poor.

He said he had written a letter in this regard to the Union Health Minister seeking his intervention for uninterrupted functioning of the OPD wing in JIPMER.

Narayanasamy criticised the Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan for what he said was confusion in modalities to adopt the total lockdown during weekends.

There were frequent modifications in implementation of the total lockdown which only confuses the people, particularly the traders, he said.

'Prime Minister himself has observed that total lockdown will not be of immediate help and it should be the last weapon to beat the spread of the pandemic with,' said.