Bolangir: While the Odisha government continues to make tall claims regarding management of the COVID-19 pandemic, some patients in Bolangir have alleged that they have to depend on the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh for treatment due to lack of requisite medical facilities in the area.
Due to alleged lack of ventilators and ICU beds in the lone COVID hospital and other Covid Care Centres and isolation centres in Bolangir town, patients are reportedly moving to Chhattisgarh to save their lives.
"Of the total positive cases detected in the district on daily basis, we don't have facilities to even treat 10 per cent of the critical patients. Left with no choice, we are forced to go to other states and spend a lot of money," said Shankarlal Barai, relative of a COVID-19 patient, who allegedly failed to get proper treatment at the COVID hospital and moved to Chhattisgarh for treatment.
Another relative of a positive patient, Rajendra Pattanik had to sell his land to pay for his brother's treatment in Raipur. "We took my brother to Raipur where we are now paying Rs 30,000 per day as hospital charges. We have sold our land to foot the bill," said Patnaik.
Had there been adequate facilities in Bolangir, we wouldn't be facing such problems, he added.
COVID-19 patients from Kantabanji are also reportedly moving to Raipur for treatment. "There is no ventilator or oxygen here due to which I had to first get treatment at a hospital in Raipur and later shifted to Vishakhapatnam. I had to spend around Rs 2 lakh for treatment," said Suresh Kumar Agarwal.
Responding to the allegations, Bolangir collector Chanchal Rana said that all arrangements are being made in the district to tackle the pandemic. "We have added 20 more ICU beds. Around 90 per cent of our available ICU beds are occupied. Those who are moving to Raipur, it is their own decision, but we are making the best possible arrangements here."