While the government’s intention would’ve been to save lives in the longterm, it has risked thousands of lives in the short term. This is not the first time that the Chief Minister has downplayed the coronavirus.
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy flagged-off a huge fleet of 108 ambulances and 104 mobile medical units at Benz Circle in Vijayawada. The line-up of the 432 ambulances and 656 mobile medical units (MMUs) moved in an entourage from Benz Circle to the Police Control Room.
Along with Mr. Reddy, ministers A. Kali Krishna Srinivas, Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy and officials of the concerned departments were present at the launch. At the launch ceremony, the YSRCP leaders, including the Chief Minister himself, failed to acknowledge the seriousness of the current coronavirus crisis. Social distancing norms went for a toss as the CM, and his colleagues stood close to one another and flagged-off the vehicles.
It is no surprise that prior to the launch the Health Minister A. Kali Krishna Srinivas had advised the citizens to exercise caution and avoid “non-essential travel”. However, the minister, along with the chief, ignored their own guidelines and launched the ambulance and MMUs with much pomp and show. A large number of people gathered, danced to songs, and burst firecrackers to celebrate the launch. Locals commented that the police present at the occasion did not take any action against the erring YSRCP leaders as they flouted one safety norm after the other.
Earlier, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had alleged that the Andhra Pradesh Government under the current ruling party committed another fraud in the name of 104 and 108 ambulance services. TDP Spokesperson K. Pattabhiram questioned whether Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had given a birthday gift of Rs 307 crores project to MP Vijay Sai Reddy, his “co-accused (A2) in the disproportionate assets case”.
While the government’s intention would’ve been to save lives in the longterm, it has risked thousands of lives in the short term. This is not the first time that the Chief Minister has downplayed the coronavirus. Earlier in March, he was criticized for making careless statements on how the disease only required admission of paracetamol and some bleach to clean the house.