On Saturday, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma called upon the Centre to revisit India's public healthcare policy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Claiming that the novel coronavirus crisis had laid bare the shortcomings of the public healthcare system in the country, he urged the Union government to invest in government hospitals. To buttress his point, he highlighted that government hospitals were dealing with a majority of the COVID-19 patients despite the private hospitals having 70% of the ICU beds and 80% of ventilators. Sharma also demanded the scrapping of the Central Vista project, terming it as "criminal waste of public money".
Corona Pandemic has exposed glaring shortcomings of India's public healthcare system and a flawed Insurance linked private hospital over dependence. Shocking that govt hospitals have only 30% beds whereas Private hospitals have 70% of ICU beds and 80% of ventilators.— Anand Sharma (@AnandSharmaINC) May 2, 2020
It is the less equipped govt hospitals that carry most the COVID patients’ burden, though short of resources, equipment & PPE gear for health workers. It is time for PM to reflect & revisit public healthcare policy. In UK the robust NHS is saving lives including PM Boris Johnson.— Anand Sharma (@AnandSharmaINC) May 2, 2020
India must urgently invest public money in public healthcare and build well equipped public hospitals. Let the pandemic crisis become an opportunity for course correction. That will be truly celebrating the Corona warriors.— Anand Sharma (@AnandSharmaINC) May 2, 2020
Currently, there are 37,336 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India out of which 9,951 persons have recovered while 1,218 casualties have been reported. On Friday, the Centre announced the extension of the lockdown till May 17. The new guidelines for the post-May 3 lockdown period grant more relaxations for Red zones, Orange zones and Green zones.
However, educational institutions, passenger movement barring for exceptions, hospitality services, malls, gyms, shopping malls, religious places of worships, gatherings etc. shall continue to be prohibited in all the zones. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs permitted the operation of special trains for the inter-state transport of stranded migrants, students, tourists, pilgrims and others.