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No hospital beds, healthcare system on the brink of collapse: Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra worsens

Several incidents of patients suffering and dying due to the unavailability of hospital beds have come to light. Nagpur city doctors have also complained of a severe shortage of facilities and an overburdened healthcare system.

After experiencing a steady downtrend, India is currently witnessing the second wave of COVID-19 infections. Many states like Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu have been recording a rising number of coronavirus cases, but the resurgence of the infection in the state of Maharashtra is most fierce and worrisome. If we have a cursory look at the daily figures of the number of positive cases, Maharashtra is alarmingly reporting the highest number of cases across the country.

With the sudden and steep surge in the number of cases, the medical infrastructure in the state seems to have collapsed. Many incidents that have been reported in the recent past proves that though it’s been more than a year since the country has been grappling with the COVID-19 outbreak, Maharashtra’s healthcare system is still not equipped to handle the scourge of the virus.

‘Give bed or kill him’, Covid-19 patient’s son pleads in Maharashtra

Recently, a heart-wrenching video surfaced on the internet in which a man from Maharashtra’s Chandrapur was seen pleading for a hospital bed for his ailing father grappling with lethal coronavirus infection.

“Give him a hospital bed, or just kill him with an injection,” said Sagar Kishore Naharshetivar who has been on the move since Tuesday afternoon in search for a hospital bed for his father.

Son of an ailing COVID-19 positive man pleads to govt to provide a bed or kill his father

Naharshetivar said that he made several rounds of hospitals in both Maharashtra and Telangana in a time span of 24 hours but all in vain. “Unable to find a bed in Maharashtra, I took my father to Telangana at around 1:30 am in the night and reached there by 3 am, however, there were no beds there either. We again brought him back to Maharashtra in the morning and have been waiting outside the hospital for a bed.

“The oxygen available in my father’s ambulance is also running out. “Either you make a bed available for him or kill him with an injection. I cannot take him home like this and you have no beds available,” he said, pointing towards his ailing father.

Man dies in car while family ferries him from one hospital to another in search of bed

In another video surfaced on social media, a severely ill man is said to have died in the car itself while his family ferried him from one hospital to another in search of a hospital bed. The deceased had other ailments but couldn’t find a bed as all have been used for Covid-19 patients.

Woman COVID-19 patient waits with oxygen cylinder in an autorickshaw

With the COVID-19 situation worsening in Maharashtra, more and more such incidents have been coming to the fore from the state. Some more shocking visuals appeared on various social media platforms where a woman COVID-19 patient in Satara district, Maharashtra, is seen waiting in an autorickshaw with an oxygen cylinder hooked on to her to enable breathing.

Unable to find a bed, woman patient waits in autorickshaw in Satara

Covid patients being administered oxygen in chairs at Maharashtra hospital 

In a similar horror story, COVID-19 patients at Osmanabad district hospital in Maharashtra were given oxygen on their chairs as the hospital appeared to have run out of beds. The video of the incident went viral on social media. The patients were reportedly made to sit on chairs as nurses and doctors could be seen helping the patients. 

Nagpur doctors protest against shortage of medical resources, blame state govt apathy

Speaking about the collapsing health care facilities in the state, a resident doctor of the city-based Government Medical College and Hospital Nagpur, Sajal Bansal, said that they held a protest on Sunday against the government and the district administration over the shortage of medical resources to treat coronavirus patients. 

A resident doctor of GMCH Nagpur, Sajal Bansal, speaks on the protest held against govt and administration over the shortage of medical resources

“The protest is not inspired by any association, it is solely for the patients who are suffering and their caregivers,” Bansal said.

He complained that since the first wave of the disease hit the country last year, the state administration has done little to improvise the medical infrastructure in the state.

“We are protesting against the government and the district administration over their lack of preparations concerning the rising cases of COVID-19 amid the second wave of the disease in the country, which includes a shortage of beds, ventilators, oxygen, Remdesivir in private hospitals which are leading to a rise in the casualties in the district. Our helplessness to help the patients has forced us to hold this protest,” the resident doctor rued. 

Speaking about the worsening situation in Nagpur, Bansal said that the burden of the entire population in the city has come upon Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH). These two hospitals are operating 820 beds and all resident doctors have been working day in and day out, still are not being able to cope with the surging cases.

“Since the past one month, the situation is getting worse which has forced us to stop the intake of new patients. The shortage of medical resources is also hampering the delivery of healthcare to the general (non-COVID) patients which is not acceptable. We are a government institution and the general public, especially marginalised groups look up to us for treatment and denying them that is unjust. We demand a permanent solution from the district administration for this crisis,” said Bansal.

As Maharashtra runs out of beds and oxygen, state minister pins the blame on celebrities

Maharashtra has been grappling with the second wave of the Coronavirus infection, which has wreaked havoc, particularly in the state, contributing the highest to the daily caseload. Owing to this, hospitals beds are running out and the supplies of medical oxygen in the state have been depleting.

Interestingly, while Maharashtra runs out of hospital beds and medical oxygen, state minister Aslam Shaikh on Tuesday blamed the celebrities and cricketers for the shortage of beds at the hospitals, saying they are occupying beds in hospitals despite having no serious symptoms of coronavirus infection. He added that if the celebs and cricketers had avoided getting admitted to hospitals, the state could have accommodated the needy Covid-19 patients.

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