Days after Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked party workers to distribute oximeters in Punjab, the state health minister has called it a "game plan of AAP" to promote community spread of coronavirus.
Attacking the AAP's announcement on oximeters distribution in Punjab as a "political gimmick", Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Tuesday warned of "massive potential of community spread" due to repeat use of oximeters by several people without proper sanitisation.
Mr Sidhu said the AAP was "misleading them completely, just as they had done in Delhi", where the COVID-19 situation had turned critical at one point, with all the 11 districts of the national capital among the country's 35 worst-affected districts.
"The use of the same oximeter by more than one person without sanitisation could lead to further spread of COVID-19," Mr Sidhu said, adding the AAP was promoting the oximeters as medicine or vaccine.
"The fact is it simply helps detect oxygen level in a person's body. Perhaps, their strategy was to promote the further spread of the pandemic in Punjab in order to persuade people to believe it to be a failure of the state government," Mr Sidhu said.
"The disinformation campaign, which seemed to be deliberately spread by the Aam Aadmi Party to further their petty political interests in Punjab, is highly dangerous," the Minister said, adding it could trigger a huge risk of infecting more people and perhaps even triggering a massive community spread in rural areas.
He claimed despite Delhi's lesser population compared with Punjab, the number of deaths and active cases in the national capital were higher. "It exposes the total mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis by the Kejriwal government there. If they cannot handle Delhi despite being in control there, how can they help the people of Punjab tackle the pandemic?" Mr Sidhu said.