24 Aug 2020
PM-CARES to fund two coronavirus hospitals in Bihar, opposition unhappy
Written byShalini OjhaPolitics
In a development that has taken political undertones in poll-bound Bihar, Prime Minister's Office on Monday tweeted that the PM-CARES Fund, short for Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, will finance two dedicated coronavirus hospitals in the state.
Here are more details.
Each hospital would have 125 ICU beds, 375 normal ones
In a series of tweets, PMO said that each hospital would have 125 ICU beds with ventilators and 375 normal ones. All beds would have an oxygen supply.
Further, PMO also revealed that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) would be constructing the hospitals while Armed Forces Medical Services will provide doctors and paramedical staff.
The hospital in Patna was inaugurated today.
Hospitals will improve COVID-19 care in Bihar: PMO
PM-CARES Fund Trust has decided to allocate funds for fight against COVID-19 by way of establishment of 500-bed COVID-19 Makeshift Hospitals at Patna Muzaffarpur, Bihar by DRDO. This will go a long way in improving COVID care in Bihar. pic.twitter.com/AAPEIDDcRc— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 24, 2020
Notably, Bihar's coronavirus tally earned CM Nitish Kumar criticism
Currently, Bihar's coronavirus tally stands at 122,156, and the death count at 610.
Never been the state having state-of-art medical facilities, Bihar's poor infrastructure took a hit during the pandemic, emboldening opposition's attack on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The politicians slammed poor testing, lack of beds, attack on frontline workers, and asked JD(U)'s Kumar to act.
His regime, however, maintained Bihar was faring well.
So, is Bihar doing well, as contested by CM Kumar?
Until a month ago, Bihar's positivity and death rate concerned the Centre.
On August 11, the state was a part of PM Modi's virtual meeting on coronavirus. Back then, these states accounted for 80% of the country's total cases prompting the PM to say that controlling the contagion there was essential for India's win against the pandemic.
However, last week, Bihar reported encouraging numbers.
Bihar's recovery rate was recorded at 78% last week
Earlier, Health Minister Mangal Pandey put out a tweet saying that Bihar's recovery rate has reached 78%, its best figure in two months, and that the state has tested over 22 lakh samples.
According to experts, this turnaround was possible after Pratyay Amrit, an IAS officer of Bihar cadre, took charge as Principal Health Secretary.
After assuming office, Amrit ensured testing was amplified.
Too little, too late: Opposition not satisfied with Centre's decision
Meanwhile, the Centre's decision concerning two hospitals in Bihar, which goes to polls in October-November, was dubbed "too little, too late" by the opposition.
Reacting on the development, RJD's Manoj Jha said, "Why have they not included areas like Champaran and Kosi. I would say it is a case of bad optics and poor planning."
But NDA, which is in power, hailed the step.