Karnataka Congress to set up war room, leaders who own hospitals to reserve 100 beds for Covid patients

Surjewala also asked state Congress leaders to distribute food packages to the poor, masks, hand sanitisers to the public, and free PPE kits to doctors.

Amid the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic across Karnataka, the state Congress unit has said it will start a 24/7 dedicated helpline and war room to help people, while leaders who own medical colleges and hospitals will reserve 100 beds for Covid patients.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief D K Shivakumar said that the helpline will come up very soon, which will work as a war room to assist citizens with telemedicine, consultation, counselling, food delivery, sourcing leads for hospital beds, medication, oxygen, ventilator supply, etc.

“We will use our Congress cadres, volunteers and also leaders at the district, taluk and village levels to reach out to people in need,” Shivakumar said.

The Opposition party in Karnataka took the decision to set up the war room after directions issued by AICC general secretary Randeep Surjewala.

Already, the doctors’ wing of the party has set up a helpline in its head office in Bengaluru and is reaching out to people with teleconsultation. According to Congress leaders, the helpline can be used by those with mild and moderate symptoms. “Now is not the time to protest or do politics, but to help people who have been denied help from the state government,” Shivakumar said.

100 beds from Congress leaders-owned hospitals to be dedicated to Covid patients

The Congress has directed its leaders who own hospitals and medical colleges to reserve 100 beds for Covid-19 patients in the state.

In Karnataka, four Congress leaders own medical colleges and hospitals. Former minister and MLA MB Patil’s BLDE Medical College and Hospital has already slashed tariff for Covid-19 beds by 70 per cent. The hospital in Vijayapura has also reserved 500 beds for Covid patients.

Other leaders are G Parameshwara, who owns Sri Siddartha Medical College in Tumkuru, MR Sitharam owns Ramaiah medical college in Bengaluru and Shamanur Shivashankarappa owns JJM Medical College in Davanagere.

On Tuesday, Shivakumar, along with 50 other senior leaders of the state Congress, held a video conference with Surjewala and decided to establish the COVID-19 war room.

Surjewala also suggested that Opposition leader in state assembly Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar write to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, demanding the immediate announcement of a financial package for the poor who are affected by the ‘close down’ in the state.

Surjewala also asked state Congress leaders to distribute food packages to the poor, masks, hand sanitisers to the public, and free PPE kits to doctors.

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