Hyderabad: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Wednesday asked Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to give top priority in saving the lives of common people.
In a media statement, Shabbir Ali said that the Chief Minister held a review meeting for the second time in a week to discuss the plan for the new Secretariat. He said that the Chief Minister did not show similar concern over the loss of hundreds of lives due to coronavirus in Telangana State. “KCR’s government has miserably failed to handle the COVID-19 situation in the state. Instead of engaging in one-on-one combat with the disease by taking all precautionary measures and deploying entire resources, CM KCR is always focused on finding an escape route. He first denied its existence and then called it as a normal flu. He then tried to gain some mileage during lockdown by making some big announcements. In the end, the government did nothing concrete either to trace and test the patients or to provide them better treatment. Instead, he forced officials to innovate means to suppress the statistics of cases and deaths. Now he is trying to hide his failures behind the corpses of hundreds of people who died due to COVID-19,” he alleged.
The Congress leader said that there were reports of at least three patients dying due to lack of oxygen in the Osmania General Hospital on July 27. According to unverified reporters, he said that the supply of oxygen was cut for most of the beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Three similar deaths were also reported from Nizamabad where patients died due to non-supply of oxygen. Similarly, there was no power supply for over six hours in the Gandhi Hospital, which is the main COVID-19 hospital for the State. There was no supply even for the ventilators or the crucial ICU units for several hours. There is no power back-up in the Gandhi Hospital and it did not even have the stock of diesel to run the generator. He said that the Chief Minister should have conducted a review meeting on the facilities in government hospitals, instead of giving so much attention to the new building for the Secretariat.
“A majority of families in Hyderabad have lost one or more relatives, friends or people known to them in the last three to four months, mostly due to COVID-19. The State Government can hide the real figures of cases and deaths, but it cannot hide the reality. More than 100 bodies are being brought to the graveyards and crematoriums every day. Instead of understanding the gravity of the situation to prevent deaths, Health Minister Etela Rajender is shamelessly making a statement that about 1,000 people die everyday in Telangana and not all deaths were related to the virus. He has made similar insensitive and inhuman statements when people were dying due to dengue last year. Instead of fixing accountability on the Health Minister and senior officials, the Chief Minister is defending them and keeping himself focussed on constructing a new building for Secretariat,” he alleged.
He said despite being rebuked by the High Court on the low testing rate and lack of facilities, the KCR goverment took no corrective measures. CM KCR, his son Minister K. Tarakarama Rao and other TRS leaders remained on issues other than saving people’s lives as they want the next GHMC elections.
Shabbir Ali said that all deaths due to medical negligence in Telangana were institutional murders. “Doctors, para-medical staff, sanitation workers, police personnel, journalists and other frontline warriors against COVID-19 have been performing their duties with total dedication and commitment. But the Chief Minister, his cabinet ministers and some top officials were not doing their job properly. They have no sense of responsibility or accountability by treating the deaths and cases as mere numbers without realising that each number represents a human life,” he said.
He added that the Congress leader urged the Chief Minister to change his attitude and give priority to measures that could save the lives of common people. He said CM KCR could temporarily manage his image by hiding the statistics. But the people who lost their loved ones will carry the scar marks of wounds inflicted on their hearts due to the negligence of the State Government forever.