We warned of second wave back in February. CM’s mishandling is prolonging Goans’ misery: AAP

Aam Aadmi Party has blamed CM Pramod Sawant’s stubborn refusal for a proper lockdown, as well as complete abdication of his responsibilities, for the continuing covid crisis in the state. Referring to the high positivity rate and number of deaths in Goa for the past six weeks, State Convenor Rahul Mhambre said CM Sawant multiple missteps are directly responsible for prolonging Goans’ misery.

“Sawant is claiming that new cases have reduced. But it is partly due to reduced testing which has gone down from 7,000 per day to 4,000 per day. The real indicator, i.e. positivity rate, continues to be consistently above 30-35%, and on an average 40 Goans are dying every single day”, Mhambre said.

Mhambre recalled that AAP had alerted the CM and HM about the second wave as far back as Feb 17th, and lamented that the BJP Govt’s attention was more on elections and on filling pockets. Mhambre said that even after the second wave had completely set in by late April, the CM refused to take it seriously and implement a proper lockdown.

“A short but complete lockdown of two or three weeks could have had a much better effect. But the extended “fake lockdown” of CM Sawant has neither helped save lives nor has it protected livelihoods”, said Mhambre.

Mhambre said with such a high number of active cases and complete chaos at the covid hospitals, it was expected that Govt would enforce the curfew better and also strengthen the home isolation protocol. But instead the Govt has abdicated all its responsibility, and no ministers or officials appear to be in control of these critical functions.

“The most telling sign is how the Govt has completely washed its hands off the home isolation protocol. Every home isolation patient needs to be given proper orientation, equipped with an oximeter, and guided by a doctor with daily tele-consultation. By removing the requirement for online registration, there is no supervision over what the home isolation patients are doing, and after they reach a hospital in serious condition, the CM resorts to blaming their deaths on the delay in admission”, Mhambre said, adding that AAP launched its Doctor Helpline and Oximeter Seva exactly for this reason.

Mhambre also raised the importance of good communication skills during a pandemic, pointing to states like Delhi & Maharashtra which have overcome much more serious crises than Goa. Highlighting the positivity rate of Delhi which is now less than 2%, Mhambre said Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s complete honesty, clear instructions, and calm demeanour in his interactions with the public was what made people listen, understand and cooperate with him throughout the crisis.

“Sawant, on the other hand, kept insisting that everything is fine, instead admitting the problems and resolving serious issues like bed shortage or the oxygen crisis. Even on the issue of lockdown, he only confused people with ambiguous words like curfew, restrictions etc while keeping almost everything open”, Mhambre said.

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