The unrelenting surge of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus or COVID-19 in India strikes hard. India’s medicare system is collapsing as it faces thousands of newly infected patients daily.
The latest statistics of the pandemic in India are ominous, with the new CCP Virus (coronavirus) infections exceeding 314,000 cases on Thursday alone. There were 2,104 deaths within the day. India has recorded 15.9 million cases and an allegedly undercounted record of 180,000 deaths in total since the CCP Virus arrived in the country’s territory, reported BBC.
The bulk load of new CCP Virus patients inevitably overwhelmed the medicare system. The issues that are transpiring include postponed test delivery, depleted medical oxygen, with hospitals short-staffed while facing an increasing and prolonged pressure on the bed register. Outside of the hospitals, bodies were piling up at graveyards, and crematoriums are working at total capacity 24/7.
The severe situation can be seen in India’s capital, New Delhi, where officials were forced to seek solutions for hosting newly infected patients. Schools and abandoned field hospitals have become venues for converting into medical wards. Facing a dire shortage of ventilator supplies, the government is resorting to using those from industry and importing supplies from overseas to meet the increasing demand.
Inside Delhi, Sanjay Gandhi Hospital has prepared 160 beds to foster CCP Virus victims from just 46 beds. Yet, there is no certainty the hospital will have enough oxygen to serve the patients, officials fear.
Ramesh Verma, who coordinates the CCP Virus response at Burari, an area edging the city, said that federal-run hospitals were nearly completely out of oxygen resources. Verma said the demand for beds has expanded to the point of hundreds of new inquiries for hospital registration per “every minute.”
On Wednesday, at least 22 patients in a hospital in western India’s Maharashtra state were reported dead due to a shortage of ventilator supply.
“When oxygen supply was planned last year, this was probably keeping in mind the local demand then. The local demand now has really peaked—and perhaps what we are seeing now is not enough forecasting,” said Anant Bhan, global health expert, and physician from Al Jazeera India.
The chronic shortage of ventilators has unavoidably led to desperate measures, with authorities confirming that oxygen tanks were reported stolen from across the country.
“Some relatives of patients are taking two or three cylinders with them, some are even taking them in their vehicles,” said surgeon Mamta Timori in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh. He added that staff was faced with threats of violence when they tried to retrieve the oxygen.
While authorities and hospitals are gasping to cope with the dangerous second wave of the CCP virus, social media is proving helpful.
Patients are flocking to social media, pleading for help. Al Jazeera found that Indian Twitter was filled with hashtags such as #COVIDSOS, #COVIDEmergency, and other similar hashtags, where accounts would be able to plead for beds and treatments from philanthropists. The method has been proven effective in assisting patients when local hospitals are overwhelmed with the unprecedented new CCP Virus patients.
“Every other tweet on my feed has been about COVID,” said Bengaluru-based software developer Umang Galaiya. “I’m glad people are finding this helpful.” Galaiya has devised a website that will direct users to Twitter results when location and needs are specified, enabling faster help.