The second wave of India’s deadly Covid-19 has devastated metropolises such as Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Pune. There is not enough space in the hospital and crematorium, and funerals are held in the parking lot. However, the pandemic is now firmly in control of many small cities, towns and villages with few reported devastations.
Rajesh Soni spent eight hours taking his father from one hospital to another in a tuk-tuk in the Kota district of northern Rajasthan on Tuesday. He couldn’t get an ambulance and a fragile car was his only option. At 5 pm, his father’s condition was deteriorating, so he decided to end his search for hospital beds. Then he went home “leaving everything to fate.”
“I’m giving him medicine at home, but I don’t know if he will survive. We’re forced to die on the street,” Rajesh said. He says some private hospitals “detained” him and spent money to do the tests, but later told him to take his father away because he didn’t have a bed.
“I’m not a wealthy person. I used whatever I had to pay to the tuk-tuk driver and the hospital. Now I’m going to borrow some money to get an oxygen cylinder at home.”
Such stories have become commonplace in Delhi, India’s most affected city, but there are now similar reports from small cities and towns across the country.
The BBC looks at what’s happening in five different states to see how fast the virus is spreading there.
More than 6,000 cases have been reported in the city and surrounding areas over the past week, with 264 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic, 35% of which occurred in April alone.
Until April 7, it took 72 days to double the number of cases, but now it is 27 days.
On April 27, all oxygen beds were occupied and only two of the district’s 329 ICU units were released. A senior journalist in the city told the BBC that the hospital was out of control and “this suggests that the actual numbers are much higher.”
There is a serious shortage of Oxygen and drugs like remdesivir and tocilizumab.. The district is home to many coaching centers for students from all over the country who take exams to enroll in prestigious medical colleges and engineering departments.
However, the students have left and the district is now in turmoil, far away from national and international media radar. Journalists said the city hospital wasn’t ready for what he described as the Covid Tsunami. He said there was an urgent need to “add more oxygen and ICU beds before more people start dying on the streets.”
Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh
The city, also known as Playagrazi, recorded 54,339 cases by April 20, but has recorded a 21% increase since then, with 11,318 cases added last week.
Approximately 32% of the 614 reported deaths in the city occurred in April alone. There is no official data on medical facilities in the city, but some people spoken by the BBC said they couldn’t find a bed for their loved ones.
Some telephone and written questions to the city’s chief medical officer about the lack of beds were unanswered. Senior journalists in the city said the actual death toll was much higher because the cremation and burial grounds were functioning day and night.
The state’s prime minister, Yogi Adityanas, recently said he wasn’t deficient in drugs, beds and oxygen, but experts say the reality in the field is very different.
Social media is flooded with posts from state people who complain of drugs like beds, oxygen, and remdesivir. The prime minister also warned that action would be taken against private hospitals that “misreported” oxygen deficiencies.
An employee of a small private hospital told the BBC that it had become difficult to arrange oxygen, but he didn’t complain because he was afraid of retaliation.
“But I don’t understand why hospitals misreport shortages. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.
There are also reports of death Due to lack of oxygen in the state. Hospital beds have also been reported in several other districts and villages in Uttar Pradesh.
Ashish Yadav’s father is in crisis in the Kanpur area, but he can’t get a bed or even get a doctor.
“I begged everywhere and begged, but no one helped. No one chose the advertised helpline number,” he told the BBC.
There were no active cases of Covid-19 on March 1 in the Central Indian region. However, about 3,000 cases have been added in the last 7 days.
The Kawarda District Hospital has seven ventilators, but no doctor is trained to operate life support systems. According to government data, the district hospital should have 49 specialists, but only 7. There is also a sharp shortage of nurses and laboratory technicians.
Local journalists say the area wasn’t ready to handle the surge in cases and couldn’t really handle sick patients. Several people died without proper treatment in the district.
Bhagalpur and Aurangabad
The Bhagalpur district in eastern Bihar has also been hit hard. Since April 20, the number of cases has increased by 26% and the number of deaths has increased by 33% over the same period.
Only Javaharlar Luneru Medical College (JNMC) has an ICU bed in the district, all 36 units of which were occupied on April 28. More than 270 of the hospital’s 350 oxygen beds were occupied.
Hospital officials told the BBC that 40 of the 220 doctors were positive in the last 10 days, four of whom died. This is increasing the pressure on the hospital.
The Aurangabad district in the western part of the state has also been hit hard. According to official data, more than 5,000 cases have been recorded since April 5, and six people died during the same period. However, senior state journalists say the actual numbers are higher, as testing is a major issue in small towns and cities. Many people become critical and die without being tested for Covid-19. Such deaths are not included in official data.
Sumitra Devi had a hard time testing in Aurangabad. She was unable to perform an RT-PCR test for days as her condition continued to deteriorate. The hospital refused to admit her without a positive test result.
So her family took her to a small private hospital in a nearby district, where she was positive, but the hospital said she was critical and had no facility to treat her. The family then took her to a large hospital in the state capital, Patna, where she had to wait several hours before being hospitalized.
She died two hours after finding her bed.
The Himalayan tourist district is struggling to cope with the increasing number of cases. On April 27, at least 131 of the 142 ICU beds were occupied and only 10 of the 771 oxygen beds were vacant.
Over 4,000 cases and 82 deaths have been reported in the past week. The area finds it particularly difficult to cope with the rise, as medical facilities also accept patients from very few remote towns and villages.
“The situation was dire and he was afraid,” said a local doctor who didn’t want to be identified.
“We are in this situation because the government did not plan to expand the facilities in the remote areas. We are worried that many people in the remote Himalayan areas will die and we will not be able to hear about them. They do not appear in the statistics. “