On June 12, Samdish Bhatia of ScoopWhoopUnscripted, an online media platform, reported from a famous crematorium in New Delhi. Titled, Inside a crematorium: A New Normal, it paints a painful picture of the rising deaths due to the ongoing coronavirus crises in India. So far, Delhi has become the most affected place in the country.
The report shows that more than 10 corpses are being brought jam-packed in one ambulance. Further, it is seen that no frontline worker has the proper protective gear, let alone masks, face shields, or gloves.
Another report titled Outside a Hospital: A New Normal takes us through the helplessness of the family members of COVID patients. Many of them claim that they have no idea what is happening with their loved ones. Some of them have also complained about the false claims of the availability of beds shown on the Delhi corona app.
These people are running from post to pillar trying to get their family members admitted, arranging a large sum of money, or just wanting to have one glimpse of their near and dear ones battling the deadly virus. Mentally broken and physically tired, many of them break down while sharing their misery.
Delhi continues to be the worst affected city by the global pandemic. It has surpassed the 70,000 infection cases and continues to see a sharp rise in the number of cases daily. It is being said that Delhi will soon overtake Maharashtra to become the worst affected place in India. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has predicted 5.5 lakh COVID cases in the city by the end of July. But the most important question that arises here is, is Delhi prepared?
With the sharp spike in the number of cases and fatalities, numerous messages and videos are circulating on social media which say that patients are dying in Delhi due to lack of beds and ventilators. Some patients are unable to pay the hefty fees and thus are not being treated. Eyebrows have also been raised about testing, treatment, and the credibility of the health system.
Since the onset of the deadly disease, the Chief Minister and the Aam Admi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal has claimed that the Delhi Hospitals are ready to face the worst. However, the rising death rate, the increase in cases, and media reports portray a completely different picture.
As of now, the state government has revised the coronavirus plan and has said that every household will be tested by July 6. The decision comes after a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah earlier this month. The meeting was held post the Supreme Court’s criticism of the Aam Admi Party for the poor handling of dead bodies amid the pandemic.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court pulled up the state government. Taking note of media reports highlighting the lack of care given to the bodies, a bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S. K. Kaul and M. R. Shah said: “The situation in Delhi is horrendous, horrific and pathetic.”
The bench further added, “Very sorry state of affairs in Delhi and inside its hospitals. Look at the treatment meted out to patients. The patients are crying and no one is looking after them. Relatives are not even informed, as reported by media, after the death of patients.”
Justice Shah also said that, “If dead bodies are being treated like this, dead bodies are found in the garbage! The media has highlighted these deplorable conditions. Worse than animals people are being treated.” The apex court also questioned the Arvind Kejriwal-led government over the state’s reduced testing figures.
There are more than 8,000 hospital beds in Delhi for COVID patients, out of which 4,500 beds are in government hospitals and nearly 3,500 beds are in private hospitals. Various messages are being circulated on social media which say that patients are being shooed away and hospitals are charging a huge amount of money for admitting a patient. Lack of oxygen cylinders and ventilators is becoming a huge reason for the rising number of deaths.
People are also alleging that the Delhi government is hiding the actual number of deaths and are under-reporting the figures. As per MCD’s figures, as many as 2,098 corpses of COVID patients have been cremated whereas the official government tally stands at 1,085.
The condition of Delhi has become heart-wrenching in every way. It seems as if the Chief Minister has taken a backseat and has left everything on the Almighty. His tactics are not working and to bring Delhi’s economy back on track, he has unlocked the whole city. No social distancing norms are being followed and no necessary precautions are being taken.
The capital city needs to revamp its strategy as a whole and carry out the necessary lockdown, if needed. One gets goosebumps thinking about how the families are not even able to pay final tributes to their loved ones. Delhi needs to buck up and refrain itself from becoming the Corona capital of India.