A Karnataka Congress MLA lashed out at the BS Yediyurappa government on Saturday over the "pathetic" condition of hospitals and healthcare infrastructure in the state, after reportedly spending over five hours trying to locate a hospital bed for a critically-ill COIVD-19 patient.
In a series of tweets posted at around 2.30 AM, Sowmya Reddy, the legislator from Jayanagara, questioned the state government and its handling of the crisis, including asking why it had been "in denial about community transmission" of the virus.
"On the phone calling hospital after hospital. They don't respond/switched off, if they do they say NO BEDS/with oxygen/ICU. Finally able to accommodate critical patient. Trying since 9pm. So angry. Pathetic state of our healthcare!" Sowmya Reddy's first tweet read.
A government-issued list of COVID-19 hospitals was attached, along with a screenshot of a mobile phone's call history that showed phone calls made between 1.48 AM and 2.18 AM.
On the phone calling hospital after hospital. They don't respond/switched off, if they do they say NO BEDS/with oxygen/ICU. Was finally able to accommodate a critical patient after a lot of requesting. Trying since 9pm. So angry.Pathetic state of our healthcare!— Sowmya Reddy (@Sowmyareddyr) July 3, 2020
A furious Ms Reddy then tagged Chief Minister Yediyurappa, and his office, and asked why the BJP administration had failed to scale up medical infrastructure over the past three months.
"Why are people dying waiting for an ambulance? Why didn't you collaborate with private hospitals...? Why huge lag/delay in getting COVID-19 test results? Why haven't private labs been ramped up? Why wasn't rapid antigen method used?" ran the avalanche of questions posed by Ms Reddy.
"Do you know hospitals are denying treatment?" she also asked.
@CMofKarnataka@BSYBJP : What was the government doing past 3 months ?— Sowmya Reddy (@Sowmyareddyr) July 3, 2020
Why was the healthcare & infrastructure prepared during the lockdown period?
Why are people dying waiting for an ambulance?
Why didn't you collaborate with private hospitals before the spike in our city?
Karnataka has 19,710 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, of which 293 are deaths linked to the infectious virus. On Friday the state reported 1,694 new cases - its biggest single-day spike - with 994 of those detected in Bengaluru (urban) alone.
The spike in cases has prompted the government to enforce a full lockdown (on Sundays only) starting July 5. The decision was taken at a meeting called by the Chief Minister last Sunday.
Why did u have an unplanned lockdown?— Sowmya Reddy (@Sowmyareddyr) July 3, 2020
Then why did u UNLOCK (June 3) without even thinking twice even though there was a spike in returnees end of May?
Wasn't all the hard work we did during the lock down ruined?
Ppl massively lost livelihoods/jobs, ruin business & economy
Other decisions taken at that meeting included increasing the number of ambulances, maintaining a centralised bed allocation system to facilitate hospitalisations and the temporary conversion of wedding halls and hostels to COVID-19 care facilities.
In reference to the latter decision, Ms Reddy today asked: "Why haven't you used these facilities until now? Converted wedding halls, stadiums, exhibition centres etc?". She pointed out that this would have freed up the limited number of ICU (intensive care unit) beds for more seriously ill patients.
Why haven't you used these facilities until now? Converted wedding halls, stadiums, exhibition centres etc?— Sowmya Reddy (@Sowmyareddyr) July 3, 2020
Asymptotic patients could have been treated at home instead of occupying beds which should be used for patients with severe symptoms/comorbidities like other countries ?
The Congress MLA also criticised the government for being "in denial for so long about community transmission", something the centre has repeatedly denied, despite several states, including Assam and Delhi, flagging concerns on this matter.
"It has been happening for a while now. People who haven't stepped out of their houses have been getting it past month. Why didn't you do a sero survey? It could have helped us immensely!" she tweeted.
Why was the government in denial for so long about #communitytransmission ? It has been happening for a while now. Ppl who haven't stepped out of their houses have been getting it past month.— Sowmya Reddy (@Sowmyareddyr) July 3, 2020
Why didn't you do a sero survey? It could have helped us immensely! To know the extent
Ms Reddy finished her attack on the government with a warning, saying: "It will get worse! Time to act!"
"I am an MLA and this is my experience. Imagine plight of people who don't have connections or strings to pull. I hope the government gets their act together," she said.