Siddaramaiah demands “white paper” on COVID-19 management in Karnataka

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Alleging lack of transparency on the part of the Karnataka government in controlling the spread of coronavirus, former chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah has demanded a “white paper” on its COVID-19 management.

He said that lack of transparency in the government actions had led to mistrust among the people about the administration. He alleged gross irregularity in the purchase of medical equipment by paying twice the market rate and threatened to launch an agitation against corrupt practices.

"As the Karnataka government has not maintained transparency in its measures to control the spread of coronavirus, it has given rise to suspicion, insecurity among people," Siddaramaiah was quoted by News18 as saying.

In a statement released by his office, he urged Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to bring out a white paper regarding measures taken and money spent so far, to place the truth before the people and instill trust in them. He demanded an account on the money spent by the government for COVID-19 treatment and related activities.

"How much money has been spent from the state's treasury to control coronavirus? It has been spent on what purpose? How much has been spent so far on quarantine, treatment, PPE kits, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, masks, sanitisers and other medical equipment?" he asked.

Questioning as to how much money and equipment have come from the Centre, he wanted to know about the number of beds reserved at private hospitals for corona treatment, the basis on which rates have been fixed for private hospitals. "All this information has to be placed before the people."

Claiming that despite several letters by him seeking details, the departments were not sharing the information properly. The Congress legislature party leader alleged that such denial of information amounts to breach of his privilege.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the state which stood at 3,408 as of June 1, reported 11,923 on Saturday with the capital city topping the districts in the infection count.

Image Credit: Financial Express

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