Amaravati: Former minister and TDP senior leader Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu on Saturday urged the Jaganmohan Reddy government to set aside its adamant attitude and follow in the footsteps of the neighbouring states to rescue the people of Andhra Pradesh from the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu demanded the state government announce an immediate COVID-19 package and monthly financial assistance to the poor people and workers who were suffering due to lack of work since the outbreak of the virus. Tamil Nadu is giving Rs. 4,000 financial assistance besides strictly implementing the Amma Canteens programme and Kerala is giving Rs. 6,000 monthly besides delivering 16 essential items at the doors of poor families, he said.
Addressing a press conference here, the TDP leader said that the Jagan Reddy regime had deliberately neglected the virus mitigation efforts, thereby causing suffering to the people. "The AP Chief Minister should at least now learn from the other CMs and extend crucial help to the people. While other CMs are visiting Covid centres to check facilities there, Mr. Jagan is not coming out of his Tadepalli palace," the TDP leader said.
Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu said AP had become "Swarnandhra Pradesh" under TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu while it had become "Coronandhra Pradesh" under Jagan. The "Tughlaq CM" is not making any efforts and as a result, AP ranks second in the country in terms of number of infections and 6th in terms of active cases, he said adding in black fungus cases, too, AP ranked third.
Stating that the neglect of oxygen plants has caused the death of over 106 COVID-19 patients, the TDP leader asked why the AP CM had failed to complete the 10 oxygen generation plants sanctioned for the state under the PM Cares funds. Lack of timely oxygen caused the death of 31 patients in Chittoor district, 20 in Anantapur, 11 in Vijayawada, six in Kurnool, two in Kadapa, and one each in Nellore, East Godavari, West Godavari and Guntur, Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu said. While cases were filed in the fire mishap incident, cases were not filed following the tragedy at Tirupati Ruia Hospital, he added.
Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu criticized the YSRCP for not making efforts to increase oxygen availability in the state. Tamil Nadu is generating 400 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen every day against their demand for just 204 MT and Kerala is generating 200 MT while it needs 100 MT, he said. He accused Jagan of wasting time by writing letters and issuing useless global tenders instead of rising to the occasion when the people are in deep trouble.
Decrying the government's "indifference", Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu asserted that it had become clear that Jagan is not serious about the people's health as exemplified by the Cabinet's allocation of only Rs. 45 crore when Rs. 1,600 crore was needed to vaccinate those in the 18-45 years age group. He further accused the state of showing no interest in giving vaccines. AP vaccinated just 79.92 lakh people as compared to 1.56 crore in Gujarat, 2.9 crore in Maharashtra, 1.64 crore in Uttar Pradesh, 1.22 crore in Karnataka, 1.61 crore in Rajasthan, and 98.28 lakh in Bihar, he said.
Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu said it was a shame that AP provided a budget of just Rs. 1,000 crore for COVID prevention, treatment, and vaccines while Kerala had announced Rs. 20,000 crore package. Moreover, the YSRCP leaders resorted to massive corruption even in test kits, bleaching powder, and virus medicines. A patient had to spend Rs. 15,000 for getting an oxygen cylinder and a Remdesivir injection was selling at Rs. 1 lakh in the black market, he said.
The TDP leader asked why the CM was not responding when COVID patients were being forced to spend Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 for a hospital bed and up to Rs. 50,000 for a ventilator. A black fungus patient is being asked to pay at least Rs. 1 lakh. All these problems multiplied only because of the utter failure of the government to control COVID-19 by not opting for total lockdown like Mahashtra and Karnataka, the former minister said. Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu deplored that Arogyasri cards were not being accepted at hospitals despite the CM's claims of immediate treatment.