Kerala continues to remain unhinged in terms of new Covid-19 cases. Furthermore, the medical apathy in the state has raised concerns regarding the effectiveness of the Kerala model of pandemic containment and management, that various media houses and liberal sections of the society have been singing praises about.
Times Now has spoken to a few members of some distressed families who alleged that they lost their dear ones to coronavirus due to medical negligence and the Kerala government’s utter failure to curb the pandemic.
Times Now questioned a Kerala woman named Eva about the circumstances surrounding her father’s death. She confirmed that her father, who was tested positive for Covid-19, had died of a heart attack. Speaking about the gross medical and government apathy in handling the pandemic in the state, Eva said that they had taken her father to a hospital that refused to admit him. From there they were sent to another hospital. That hospital also denied her father admission. They took him to yet another two hospitals in the state, both of which did not admit her father, recalled Eva speaking to Times Now.
“Later we went to medical college. We reached there at around 5:30 pm and until 10.15 pm, my father did not get any treatment”, rued Eva, adding that though he was a Covid patient, she believes that he died because of the delay in the treatment. “If he had received treatment on time, he wouldn’t have passed away. I am sure about that”, lamented Eva.
She added that when they reached the medical college, there were many ambulances with patients waiting before them. She says she was sure that they would not take her father before all of them. So she waited until 10.15 pm. The enraged daughter went on to say that whatever facilities the state administration claims or boasts about offering to the people of the state is a lie.
“Nothing of that sort is there”, said Eva recollecting how she kept shouting and screaming helplessly, asking the hospital authorities to provide treatment to her ailing father, but to no avail. They said they were understaffed, with only 2 doctors and 4 nurses to cater to the patients. They also said they had no oxygen cylinders. They asked us to complain to the government, Eva told Times Now in her broken voice.
Confirming that her father who was finally admitted around 11.30 pm breathed his last at 2-3 am, Eva remembered how there were many others along with her father, who had died due to lack of treatment.
Here Times now questions Eva about the Kerala government’s claims of having all the required infrastructure to handle the pandemic in order. “The Govt claims that the state can bear the brunt of the cash load. Is that true?” asked the journalist. Eva responded with a big NO. She said that she was also under this impression until a father’s mortal remains were taken to the mortuary.
Times Now further interacted with a distressed mother who lost her 7-year-old son to post Covid complications. Like Eva, she too was displeased with the state’s apathy in handling the pandemic. Slamming the state government’s hypocrisy, the kin of the young boy said that he died of some apparent post covid complications, which they weren’t aware of and neither were the hospitals aware or equipped to treat it.
Grieving mother of a deceased 7-year-old says Pinarayi Vijayan govt not spreading enough awareness
The grieving mother of the 7-year-old confirmed to the media house that despite going to numerous hospitals, only the medical college in Trivandrum could diagnose that her son was suffering from MIS-C. She added that they asked the hospital in Cherthala, where her son was initially admitted, to provide them with an ambulance to take the ailing boy to Trivandrum. However, the hospital refused. They told the patient’s kin that their ambulances did not have permission to travel up to Trivandrum.
She recollected that they ultimately hired a private car to take the child to Trivandrum. The doctor’s there conducted various blood tests on the child before confirming that he was suffering from MIS-C, a post covid complication usually found in children. They informed the kin that the condition of the child was critical. They said that they could have helped the child had they brought him to the hospital two days earlier.
She recollected how on the same day, her child’s internal organs started drying. He was shifted to the ICU. A day later he was operated upon but he succumbed to the disease. While narrating the harrowing ordeal, the mother of the deceased 7-year-old child expressed concerns regarding the lack of Covid awareness in the state hailed as the ‘Kerala model‘.
The kins have now been standing outside the hospital with posters trying to spread awareness about the diseases, which she claimed no one in the state knows about. They protested that the government has not been doing enough. They have not conducted enough awareness campaigns here in the state regarding the disease. Even the hospitals also have no knowledge about it. “We took our son to Kottayam Medical college. If they had known about this post Covid complication, they could have treated my son better and saved him”, rued the father of the 7-year-old deceased child.
He added that later he learnt from newspapers that this particular post-Covid infection in children has been happening for the last 1.5 years. “Despite this being such a serious issue nobody is talking about it”, said the enraged parents, adding that the state government should spread awareness about such a severe infection, which has taken the lives of 4 children in the state so far.
Failed Kerala Model
While the rest of the country has managed to control the pandemic, Kerala, hailed for its Covid-19 management, often termed as Kerala model, continues to remain unhinged in terms of new cases. To put things in perspective, Kerala contributes to almost 70% of new infections while it is home to just 3% of India’s total population. Kerala’s average positivity ratio, the rate of positive cases for every 100 tested, stands at 18.5%.
At present, while the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh has been reporting less than 50 cases a day, Kerala has been reporting close to 30,000 cases from the last five days. Recently, media houses like Reuters tried to whitewash the mismanagement and got heavily criticized over the social media platforms.
Instinctively, when the cases are so high, state governments should increase testing so that the infections can be traced and curbed. But Kerala has actually reduced testing. No test, no cases, seems to be the new mantra in the Kerala government. A report in The Hindu Businessline from August 23 states that tests carried out in Kerala had come down by nearly a third in past two weeks.