PANCHAYAT LOCKDOWNS ARE A SIGN OF ADMINISTRATIVE BREAKDOWN. TAKE FIRM & TIMELY STEPS TO BREAK THE CHAIN. CAP THE HIGH PRICES OF COVID TESTS: AAP

Aam Aadmi Party has called for firm and timely decisions by the Goa CM Pramod Sawant to break the chain of covid infection that is ravaging the state. State Convenor Rahul Mhambre said that when the CM announced the lockdown, the restrictions mentioned in the actual order by the Collector were very different and milder than what the CM had announced in his press conference. Further, neither was the lockdown enforced strongly enough, nor were sufficient micro-containment zones created to rein in the pandemic. Mhambre claimed that confusion & uncertainty was created due to such ambiguity from the Govt, and led to village panchayats having knee-jerk reactions to the fear expressed by people.

Mhambre warned that Village Panchayats taking ad-hoc decisions and issuing media advertisements for lockdowns without involvement of the District Administration was a dangerous sign of administrative breakdown. Mhambre reminded that indecision & delay by the CM in implementing home isolation protocol last year had led to similar chaos, with positive patients overflowing in villages due to spike in cases. At that time too, panchayats and individuals had started to set up ad-hoc isolation centres without proper supervision or medical treatment. With the second wave being many times more brutal, such mistakes and delays can be deadly for Goans, as is already seen in the spiralling daily covid fatalities.

Mhambre stated that the Govt’s main goal should be to ensure that the capacity of the healthcare system is sufficient to treat the 150+ new patients being generated every day, out of which 30+ require advanced treatment. While welcoming the order to expand covid treatment in private hospitals in Goa, Mhambre urged the CM and Health Minister to be honest and realistic whether Goa was able to create the required 120 new covid/oxygen beds and 30 new ICUs & ventilator beds ON A DAILY BASIS for the next 2 weeks at least. If not, Mhambre said that the CM needs to take a firm and timely decision regarding lockdown, otherwise the above calculation would only get worse and out of control.

Regarding the Covid tests, Mhambre drew the CM’s attention to the high prices being charged at private testing labs. Some places were charging upto Rs. 3,000 for an RT-PCR test. Mhambre urged the Govt to cap the price of the test to Rs. 600-800, which is the standard price in most states in the country.

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