Kin Drags Patient on Stretcher While Carrying His Oxygen Cylinder

As COVID tears through India, families grapple to avail basic medical ammenities. 

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Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam

Healthcare services across India have collapsed as the second wave of COVID that began in mid-march tears through the country at devastating speeds.

Crematoriums are running out of space, hospitals are running out of beds, and patients are running out of oxygen as the second wave of COVID has brought the country to its knees. On 22 April, 3,32,730 COVID cases and 2,263 deaths were reported, which is the highest rise in both cases and deaths in a single day. India has lost 1,86,920 people to COVID.

The intensity at which the virus has wreaked havoc in the country can be seen through the visuals coming from Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur, where a patient was dragged by his brother while other family members carried an oxygen cylinder in their hands.

Sanjay Banga came from Shahbad, in Uttar Pradesh, to Shahjahanpur Medical college for the treatment of his brother, Shyam Banga, who was suffering from a lung infection.

“We didn’t get any oxygen support here at the hospital. We brought two oxygen cylinders from Shahbad along with us and we have ordered for three more. Due to lack of level 3 (treatment) here we were referred to another hospital yesterday. So, we are going to Bareilly.
Sanjay Banga, patient’s brother  

While one family didn’t get the medical treatment at the hospital, another family alleges medical negligence took their kin’s life.

Son of a COVID patient, Sarabjit Singh alleges that his father was not given proper treatment at the hospital.

“When I spoke to dad, ‘he asked where are you? I told him that I was at the hospital only. He said, ‘Please come. I am about to die’. I asked him, ‘Why are you saying that? Isn’t there anyone there to look after you?’ He said, ‘I can’t see anyone here’. I went to see the doctor. He didn’t allow us to meet (my dad).”
Son of COVID patient, Sarabjit Singh  

On the other hand, the hospital says that it is taking care of all its patients and goes on to say that there is no shortage of oxygen at the hospital.

“We are taking care of our patients who are getting admitted here at the hospital as per guidelines. Patients are coming with serious co-morbidities. Other diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, creates more complications. Our team is working continuously and looking after the patients. We have sufficient oxygen. There is no scarcity here.”
Dr UP Sinha, CMO, Shahjahanpur Medical College  

While the Chief Medical Officer of Shahjahanpur Medical College claims that the hospital doesn’t have any shortage of oxygen, several families at the hospital say that there is an acute shortage of oxygen at the hospital.

To plug the demand-supply gap, the Centre has ramped production in oxygen plants and is importing the life-saving gas from abroad.

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