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Bhupesh Baghel, who was busy with Assam elections, blames the Centre for second wave of Covid

During his interview, Baghel targeted Piyush Goyal for asking state governments to keep demand for medical oxygen under control. Goyal had asked states to check oxygen wastage and monitor that only the people in need are being given medical oxygen.

Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, has blamed the Modi Government for the second wave of infection. In an interview with Indian Express, Baghel said, “The Indian government could not even advise, provide a guideline for the second wave.” However, Baghel forgot that according to the Section 6 of the List II of the Seventh Schedule (Article 246) of the Constitution of India, public health and sanitation, hospitals and dispensaries is state subject.

Covid-19 testing and positive rate in Chhattisgarh

According to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Chhattisgarh’s estimated population stands at 2.94 crores. In his interview, Baghel claimed that they are taking 1,800 samples per 10 lakh every day that stands at 0.18% per 10 lakh. On April 19, Chhattisgarh tested 48,673 people that stands close to 0.16% per million 10 lakh. Though he is correct that the state is testing more per 10 lakh compared to some other states, the positive rate in Chhattisgarh is alarmingly high at 28%, which has been almost consistent in the last one week. The national average is around 15.5%.

National Positive Rate | Chhattisgarh Positive Rate (Source: covid19india.org)

Baghel targets Union Minister Piyush Goyal over oxygen supply

During his interview, Baghel targeted Piyush Goyal for asking state governments to keep demand for medical oxygen under control. He was talking about the interview of Goyal with news agency ANI on April 18. It has to be noted that when Goyal said that demand-side management is as important as supply-side management, he was not asking the states to use less oxygen than needed, but he was asking to stop the wastage of oxygen.

In his interview, Goyal said that his ministry was getting reports of unnecessary usage of oxygen on patients where it was not required as per the guidelines. Also, some reports suggested that medical oxygen was wasted in some hospitals. He had urged the state governments to keep a check on the wastage so that the patients in need do not have to wait for the oxygen. Notably, in the last few weeks, India has ramped up the oxygen supply across the country and took several steps to improve the supply chain.

A sharp decline in vaccination

In the last few days, Chhattisgarh has seen a sharp decline in the number of vaccinations administered. Since April 13, the state has vaccinated less than one lakh people in the state. On average, the state was administering over 1.90 lakh Covid-19 vaccines in the week before April 13.

Vaccination program has seen sharp decline in the state (Source: covid19india.org)

It is notable here that Chhattisgarh is one of the worst affected states in India in terms of active cases. Reports of an overwhelmed medical infrastructure have been doing rounds in the state. Recently there were viral social media videos where dead bodies of covid patients were being taken with the help of garbage vans in the state.

Baghel and Assam election campaigning

CM Baghel was busy doing election rallies in Assam for Congress candidates while the state was experiencing a sudden surge in the number of Covid cases. Notably, he was also missing from the state when CRPF personnel were attacked by Naxals. By April 13, Chhattisgarh was reporting over 15,000 cases per day which have remained almost consistent to date. Unfortunately, the death rate is consistently around 1.2% which is nearly double the national average.

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