Karnataka has “best managed” the COVID-19 pandemic: Minister

PTI, Sep 24, 2021, 6:41 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has “best managed” the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, and opposition Congress which ruled for long, is to be blamed for any deaths due to lack of medical facilities like oxygen, Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Friday.

The Minister said this while replying to the debate on COVID-19 second wave in the assembly, amid protest by Congress members from the well of the House, forcing him to cut short and table his answer for record.

“The opposition has targeted and criticised the government on its COVID management, but they are not ready to listen to my reply. People of the state are watching. They are indulging in hit and run politics, they don”t care for the people,” Sudhakar said.

During his reply amid chaos due to sloganeering by Congress MLAs against the implementation of National Education Policy and demanding extension of the monsoon session, he alleged that Congress has no commitment or responsibility to fight against COVID, and only wants to indulge in politics.

The Congress is aware that the COVID has been effectively managed in the state, he claimed, adding that “the whole world has praised India”s COVID control and management, also Karnataka has best managed the pandemic in the whole country. That”s the reason the opposition party doesn”t have the patience to listen to the answer,” the minister said.

Initiating the debate, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah on Thursday had targeted the BJP government for its handling of the second wave, and said the government got into a relaxed mode after the first wave.

Bringing up the Chamarajanagar tragedy, pointing out that 36 patients had died at a state-run hospital due to lack of oxygen supply, he sought an explanation on why no action was taken against the officials concerned for the deaths.

Hitting out at the Congress for criticising the government”s COVID management, the minister, during his reply, said “the sixty years of Congress rule was such that before the first wave, 725 ICU beds and ventilators were there, in one year we have got 3,887 of them. There were only 4,847 oxygenated beds, we have made about 28,400 such beds available.”

The oxygen storage facility in the state before COVID was only 320 tons, he said. “If there has been any deaths in the state (due to lack of oxygen), Congress is to be directly blamed for it, it is because of their misrule,” the minister added.

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