The Bihar Post

In grip of floods and Covid-19, Bihar villagers not eager to join poll process

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PATNA—Masses in Bihar are currently not eager to rush to the polling stations and cast their votes during the upcoming assembly elections scheduled to be held in October/November this year.

People’s reactions come shortly after India’s top court observed the “the coronavirus crisis cannot be a ‘valid reason’ for stopping polls,” media reports said on Sunday.

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The general concern of the voters is that who will take care of them and their families in case they get infected with COVID-19.

Their fear apparently emanates from the prevailing health situation in Bihar. Most of the beds in Covid wards of government hospitals are said to be going full while the private hospitals are charging heavy money for treatment.

Although the state government has fixed the rate for Covid-19 treatment at the private hospitals, it is beyond the reach of the common men, many say.

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As per the health department’s order, in the hospitals falling under ‘A’ category, the maximum per day cost of Covid-19 treatment (for a patient with very severe sickness) at ICU with ventilator care can’t exceed Rs18,000.

The state government capped the treatment fee acting on repeated complaints about the private hospitals overcharging Covid-19 patients at this critical time.

On August 20, a private hospital located in Patna had held hostage the attendants of a Covid-19 victim after they refused to pay hospital bill of Rs10 lakh (Rs One million) for 25-day treatment.

Similar complaint came from another private hospital in Patna where a Covid-19 patient was handed out a bill of Rs6.34 lakh (Rs0.63 million) for just five-day treatment and was also held hostage for his inability to pay the bill.

Covid-19 has claimed 688 lives and infected more than 135,000 people so far since the first case was reported on March 22.

Read more at The Statesman

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