While the health minister of Rajasthan Raghu Sharma was busy posting photographs with Bollywood’s A-lister actor Salman Khan’s bodyguard, the whole health infrastructure in the state is crumbling into pieces. Here is a list of top officials responsible for the health infrastructure failing miserably in fulfilling their duties as the state desperately calls for help.
Siddharth Mahajan, health secretary, is responsible for ensuring the availability of beds, ICUs beds, ventilators, and medicines in the state. As per reports, the private hospitals are only getting 10% of what they have sought in terms of oxygen from the state government. There is no ventilator available in Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS) for the last eight days, and beds are full for three days. The situation is the same in private hospitals. Either they do not have beds, or if there are beds, oxygen is scarce.
Rajaram Sharma, the drug controller, is responsible for ensuring the availability of medicine in the state. It is his responsibility to ensure drugs are not sold in black. However, reports suggest that he is unable to control the black marketing of essential medicines like Remdesivir. Recently, Udaipur Police arrested Dr Mohammad Abir for selling Remdesivir for Rs.35,000, which had an MRP of Rs.2,800.
Ravi Jain, state nodal officer, is responsible for oxygen supply in the state. Though he assured there is no shortage of life-saving gas in the state, the reports suggest otherwise. On Saturday, LK Lone Hospital sent an SOS message to the administration but only got half of the cylinders they asked for. The situation is so grim that the largest hospital in the state, SMS Hospital, almost ran out of oxygen. CT Surgery head, Dr Rajkumar Yadav said in a statement that they had to shift CT Surgery ward patients to CS ward amid a shortage of oxygen.
Alok Ranjan, RMSCL, is responsible for ensuring medicine supply in the state. Due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, the supply infrastructure is crumbling down, but reports suggest that he is not ready to answer any questions. The situation is similar to other officials responsible for the medicine availability. Remdesivir helpline is under four officials named Dinesh Kumar Taneja, Manish Kumar Modi, Komal Rupchandani and Naveen Sanghi. When Dainik Bhaskar contacted them, they all gave similar statements that they are here to stop black marketing of the drug and not for ensuring its supply.
Narottam Sharma, CMHO-First, is responsible for managing the health infrastructure in the capital. When he was asked about the imbalance in the demand and supply of the beds, ICU beds, medicines and oxygen, he clearly said that he could not do anything as everything was being operated by the higher officials.
The covid-19 situation in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is slowly gaining a higher position in Covid-19 cases. Currently, it is in the fifth position in terms of active instances. The state reported 15,355 new cases on April 25. 74 people lost their lives in the states due to Covid-19 related complications. The state has reported 4,98,628 cases out of while 3,67,485 have recovered while 3,527 have lost their lives.