Within hours of returning from Goa, where he was campaigning for AAP , Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain claimed on Tuesday that chikungunya can never be the cause of anyone’s death. He also denied there was any outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in the city .“It (the outbreak) has been created by you (media) by spreading panic,“ said the minister, who was in a combative mood.Chikungunya has claimed at least five lives, going by reports from hospitals,but Jain, who addressed the press at his official residence, claimed it has never caused a death anywhere in the world. “Prove it medically ,“ he retorted, when reporters countered him with the details provided by hospitals. In fact, Jain said he had ordered an inquiry into the deaths reported from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. He tweeted: “4 deaths due to Chikangunia reported from one pvt hospital (Ganga Ram). No death in any Delhi govt hospital. Enquiry ordered(sic).“In keeping with the AAP’s penchant for shooting the mes senger, Jain said the media does not care for the poor who die.“More than 2,000 deaths take place daily in Delhi but you don’t care about them because those are poor people,“ he said.The minister was in Rome early this month, when the nurses were on strike, to attend the canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa. He left for Goa on Saturday for campaigning, to return only on Tuesday .When reporters asked him about his continued absence, Jain angrily asked why no one was questioning the lieutenant governor for his absence. “The LG removed the health secretary appointed by us and replaced him with another officer. Today , neither the new secretary , nor the LG are in the city. You should figure out where they are,“ he said.
Jain said when the Delhi high court gave its verdict stating that LG is the supreme authority in Delhi, Najeeb Jung gave a series of interviews to news channels.“He claimed to be the government and issued illegal orders stating that transfers of officials have to have sanction of the LG.Jung has threatened all officers into submission and that’s why no one listens to us,“ said the health minister. He even insinuated that a reporter was being fed questions to defame the AAP government in Delhi.
“I know who is feeding you the questions you have been asking,“ said Jain, when asked why the government was putting the entire blame on others.
The minister said preventing mosquito-breeding was the corporation’s responsibility . “They are only interested in corruption and minting money by allowing illegal activities. Where are the 272 councillors or for that matter seven members of Parliament from BJP ,“ he asked.
He claimed the Delhi government has 40% of the total beds available in hospitals. “Our hospitals are running efficiently and many beds reserved for dengue and chikungunya patients are still vacant. It is the central government and corporation-run hospitals that are overcrowded and patients are complaining,“ the minister added, virtually absolving himself and the state government of any responsibility .