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Delhi's Fight For Oxygen A Ground Report ft story .The News Cover

Sunday, April 25, 2021

/ by mansuralisaha

 


The News Cover: visited several hospitals in Delhi and also reached out to local suppliers of oxygen cylinders to understand the seriousness of this medical emergency. The beds are full here. Did they tell you the same in other hospitals? Yes, sir. They are claiming that the beds are full. 

People are coming in from Ghaziabad and they’re made to return from the gate because there are no beds. There’s no place in the hospital. All the ambulances that are coming are asked to return. Even this one is going to return. We’ve come from GB Pant hospital, they asked us to go to gate number 4. So we came here but even here the beds are full. I’m here at Rajiv Gandhi Hospital but no doctor is ready to face the camera. 

But I have spoken to a doctor off the record, and he told me some points that I felt I should share with you. Firstly, the reason why there is a crowd here is that the app shows wrong data about the availability of beds. Initially, the app was showing 650 beds to be available here, which doesn't even exist. 

Secondly, the app claims that there are 450 ICU beds here. But the doctor told us that these cannot be called ICU beds because there are no facilities like oxygen and monitors in many of them. Thirdly, if a doctor or a nurse tests positive for COVID-19, there’s no facility provided to them. There is a VIP department, which can only be occupied by SDM or clerks/ PA from the Admin Department. It has been eight hours. The patient is inside. 

We aren’t being updated, we are made to sit. The patient is sitting with oxygen in the emergency room. We've been standing here for 8 hours. There’s no treatment given, they’re only looking and passing by. No test. No treatment. Nothing. It has been eight hours now. The patient has got the bed right? No. The patient is just sitting in the emergency ward. Okay, what’s the matter with the patient? He has breathing problems and he’s anxious. 

Last night I went to at least 15-20 hospitals in Delhi. Admission was denied everywhere. We were able to enter here through some contact. We were almost denied here as well. There are people lying, falling everywhere on the floor. We’re not able to understand what’s happening. People are panicking, there are no beds in any other hospital. Private hospitals are asking for 2 to 2 and a half lakh rupees. Who will give so much money and to whom? 

My maternal uncle has COVID-19 and pneumonia... But we have been here since 11 a.m., he has only been given one injection. They’re saying even the patients who came here the day before yesterday aren’t admitted yet. So what do you expect? The patients are entering here in this manner but nobody is getting beds right now.

They’re being put in the emergency ward and are given some medicines... But according to the families of the patients, most of them aren’t getting beds as of now. The website shows a fair amount of vacant beds. Yesterday we saw 900 vacant beds out of 1500. It’s been a day and now we have got the bed. The situation is the same in all the hospitals. 

If the beds are vacant, why aren’t we getting them? They’ve made a COVID-19 ward, where they leave after giving injections. People are waiting for about three days hoping for some treatment, but they’re not given anything. For a person who has pneumonia, how will the lungs survive for three days? There’s no space in the COVID-19 ward as well. They leave the patients. If there are no beds, 

what will you finally do? We have no option, beds aren’t available anywhere. We’ll wait. We’ll wait for the bed. I’ve brought my oxygen cylinder along with me. Where do we go with the patient? I want to ask, Where do we go with the patient? I went to all the hospitals, we are helpless. Where do we go now, I want to ask? Who is the patient? She’s my sister. The question is where do we go now? Along with the shortage in oxygen cylinders, their transportation is also a major challenge. 

We also lack the special tankers that are needed to transport medical oxygen. According to a report by the Indian Express, usually, the oxygen reaches from the manufacturer to the bed in about 3-4 days. It has now extended up to 6-8 days. Moreover, the cost to refill oxygen has also risen. Because of expensive transportation, a cylinder that took 150-200 rupees to refill, now takes 500-2000 rupees. Sir, I've been here for a week. 

The patient is COVID-19 positive and also has diabetes. The main problem is that the information isn’t passed on from time to time. We’re not informed of the state of the patient. Secondly, Remdesivir Injections and other medicines are not available. Given the circumstances, at least tell us there’s a shortage. So that we can go and arrange them. So that we can also contribute. 

We’re misinformed about our patient and later we find out the situation otherwise. On one hand, the reports show normal, the next hour the patient dies. How is it possible? They are not letting me know where my patient is. 

Yesterday, the patient was here, today they shifted toward number 53. And now, I don’t know where he is. - Is he known to you? - He’s my father. Yesterday, I gave a bottle of water around 7-8 pm. But today morning, I couldn't find him anywhere. They aren't informing me about his whereabouts. 

They are making me run in circles. There’s no information about the status of the patient. There’s no solution. A help desk is made where you can call to receive the information. But the calls go unanswered. When the patient is shifted to some other ward, it takes 2-3 days for the family to find the ward. No information is provided. There was a help desk at first, some argument happened and the desk is no more. 

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