Guj: Cong leaders visit Ahmedabad hospital”s COVID-19 facility

Ahmedabad, May 26 (PTI) A team of Congress leaders on Tuesday visited the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to study the condition of its COVID-19 facility, after the Gujarat High Court called it “pathetic” and equated it to a “dungeon”.

State Congress president Amit Chavda, who visited the hospital along with senior leader Paresh Dhanani and a few other party MLAs, slammed the state government for not conducting enough tests, as a result of which people were admitted to the hospital at a critical stage and died of the infection.

The delegation had to wait for an hour but M M Prabhakar, the officer on special duty for 1,200-bed COVID facility, could not make himself available, Chavda alleged, asking if the official was acting at the behest of State Health Minister Nitin Patel by not meeting them.

Other doctors refused to share any information about the treatment for COVID-19 patients or speak about the controversial Dhaman-1 ventilators, which were developed by Rajkot-based firm Jyoti CNC and supplied to government hospitals, he said.

“However, they agreed that it was not a ventilator, but was just a machine that supplies oxygen to patients,” he said.

Chavda further claimed that doctors had attributed the high mortality rate at the hospital to low testing rates, which had led to delayed diagnosis and admission.

Dhanani accused the government of wrongdoing over Dhaman-1 ventilators, and said the equipment had received approvals within 24 hours and it was supplied in large numbers to government hospitals even when it was not effective on critical COVID-19 patients, as agreed upon by experts.

An Ahmedabad-based firm had gotten the job of upgrading these ventilators with an additional cost of Rs 2.91 lakh per unit without a proper tendering process, he said.

Meanwhile, state BJP spokesperson Prashant Vala lashed out at the Congress for making baseless allegations.

“If Dhanani has a government order stating that the government was paying Rs 2.91 lakh per ventilator, then he should make it public. Levelling such baseless allegations does not amount to anything,” he said. PTI KA PD ARU ARU

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