Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s phone call to him on the COVID-19 situation in the country as the PM’s “Mann Ki Baat”, instead of business.
Mr Soren’s reaction came after PM Modi spoke to him and the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Telangana about the COVID-19 situation on Thursday.
“Today the respected Prime Minister called. He only spoke his “Mann Ki Baat”. It would have been better if he would have talked business and heard the issues,” Mr Soren said in a tweet.
Official sources said Mr Soren was unhappy as he was not allowed to present the issues concerning his state before PM Modi and instead, it was only the latter who talked about the COVID-19 situation.
Jharkhand is among the 10 states and Union territories that are collectively accounting for over 75 per cent of daily COVID-19 deaths in the country, according to latest data. The others in the league are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.
Jharkhand reported 133 COVID-19 fatalities on Thursday, taking the number of deaths due to the viral disease in the state to 3,479, while 6,974 cases pushed the state’s infection tally to 2,70,089.
The mortality rate in the state remains higher — at 1.28 per cent — against the national mortality rate of 1.10 per cent. According to a bulletin issued by the state health department, the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients is 76.26 per cent in Jharkhand as against the national average of 82 per cent.
Mr Soren digitally inaugurated a 528-bed makeshift COVID-19 hospital at Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) on Thursday.
Of the 528 oxygenated beds, 327 were set up at the RIMS multi-storey parking lot, 73 at the oncology department and 128 in the old building of the institute.
Mr Soren said 108 more beds will be set up with the help of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the country’s largest energy conglomerate.
On Wednesday, the chief minister had digitally inaugurated 250 beds at a dedicated COVID health centre at Koderma.