The CPIML legislative party held a virtual meeting on Zoom on 4 May 2021 amidst the worrisome situation of Covid explosion in rural Bihar, ramshackle state of the health system, and fast increasing number of deaths. Among those who attended the meeting were State Secretary Kunal, legislative party in-charge Rajaram Singh and MLAs Satyadev Ram, Sudama Prasad, Arun Singh, Virendra Prasad Gupta, Gopal Ravidas, Manoj Manzil, Mahanand Singh, Sandeep Saurabh, Ajit Kushwaha, Rambali Singh Yadav and Amarjeet Singh Kushwaha.
The legislative party reviewed its work during the 2nd phase of Covid and said that ever since the situation deteriorated CPIML MLAs are constantly active in their respective areas and are rendering service to Covid patients. Our main objective is to reach help to people until the situation improves.
The CPIML legislative party also sent a memorandum of 10-point suggestions to the Chief Minister.
The suggestions are as follows:
1. Regarding the decision to spend Rs 2 crores from the MLA fund for the Covid health emergency, our suggestion is that this should be divided into 2 parts: Rs 1 crore at the State level and the remaining Rs 1 crore to be spent on health services in the concerned MLA's constituency.
2. MLAs should be given the right to spend the remaining Rs 1 crore of the MLA fund for help to Covid patients and essential health equipment in their constituencies.
3. There has been no account so far of the Rs 50 lakhs taken from the MLA fund during the previous lockdown. The expenditure should be made transparent and information given to the concerned people's representatives.
4. In view of the Covid pandemic the MLA fund amount is insufficient, therefore the government should immediately increase the health budget by at least ten times and spend it on oxygen cylinders, ventilators, flowmeters, ambulances and other equipment, as well as on construction of temporary hospitals and doctors and health workers. Doctors and health workers should be appointed on a large scale, reserve pools guaranteed, and people connected with the medical profession should be given minimum training and employed to serve Covid patients in rural areas.
5. Please send medical teams forthwith home to home in all villages and guarantee Covid testing, treatment and time-bound vaccination for all. Intense miking and awareness programs should be run to create awareness of Covid prevention rules such as physical distancing, sanitization, masking etc. Families of Covid victims should be given Rs 10 lakhs compensation, 6 months' rations and employment.
6. At least 100 lives have been lost due to extremely poor health services in Paliganj constituency in Patna District. No Covid treatment is available in Paliganj from PHCs to the subdivisional hospital from where available resources have been shifted to Vikram, leading to a huge increase in deaths. This is a criminal act. Despite appeals to DM Patna and CMO Patna there has been no improvement in the situation. We demand that the administration stop playing with people's lives and guarantee Covid treatment in the subdivisional hospital and all PHCs.
7. Our reports say that the role of private hospitals in this horrific pandemic are much below expectations. We demand that the government should bear the expenses of Covid patients and keep a strict eye on these hospitals so that they are not allowed to become centres for looting patients.
8. A regular system of talks should be evolved from State to Block level between the administration, political parties and social organizations so that we can fight and defeat this crisis together. But it is unfortunate that the Health Secretary as well as DMs of Patna and other Districts do not even answer their phones. In such a situation the struggle against Covid gets weakened. We request you to take cognizance of this.
9. The government has imposed a lockdown, but last year's experience was very bitter. The common people had to bear the double brunt of Covid and lockdown. Therefore our demand is that instead of putting much emphasis on lockdown the government should show greater seriousness in revamping health related systems.
10. Please issue passes without delay to our party activists engaged in serving and helping Covid patients, so that this work is not obstructed in any way.