Amid the current coronavirus situation in India, hospitals and crematoriums have become overwhelmed due to dearth of oxygen gas and medicines.
India registers record number of deaths, cases
The number of coronavirus cases and deaths are rapidly climbing as the neighbouring country witnessed record number of cases (over 0.3 million, the fifth time in a row) and deaths on Monday.
The actual number of deaths and cases may be much higher as a large number of people could not either get access to testing or did not want to get themselves tested.
So far, over 17 million COVID cases and 200,000 deaths have been reported in India and experts believe that the figures may continue to rise for another two weeks.
Lack of critical care beds
Hospitals are not accepting new patients in Delhi, while relatives are struggling to find a place for their loved ones in a hospital over several miles in many other cities of the country as well.
Earlier this week, the government vowed to provide medical facilities to civilians at military hospitals where retired servicemen would assist in coronavirus health facilities.
Lack of oxygen is the most dreadful thing
Hospitals have placed signs about lack of supplies as they are facing shortage of oxygen. According to the PATH Oxygen Needs Tracker, India now has the greatest demand for oxygen out of all other low, lower-middle and upper-middle-income countries and the demand continues to rise everyday by 6 to 8 percent.
Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti Delhi’s Manipal Hospital said he watched people on roads like “fish out of water”, while gasping for air.
A senior health officer, Rajesh Bhushan said 15 percent of total production of India’s oxygen gas is normally spent for medical purpose, but it has been increased to 90 percent now, three times higher than what was used at the peak of first wave in 2020.
In a bid to meet the demand, the government has run special trains carrying oxygen tankers to different cities, while the Indian Air Force is also airlifting oxygen from military reservoirs.
Train carriages converted into medical wards
The Indian railways ministry has started converting around 4,000 train coaches into isolation wards.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party told the BBC that the trains were able to provide an additional 64,000 temporary mobile beds, equipped with bathrooms, power supply for medical purpose and oxygen cylinders.
Sports halls, stadiums converted into health facilities
According to BBC, sports halls, stadiums and ashrams were converted into make-shift treatment centres to share the burden of hospitals.
“Venues like Bangalore’s Koramangala Indoor Stadium, the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, in Guwahati, and Delhi’s Radha Soami Satsang Beas campus have been converted into quarantine centres,” it added.
Mass funeral pyres at crematoriums
With inflow of abundance of dead bodies, people are compelled to turn to makeshift facilities for mass burials.
Head of an NGO running a crematorium in Delhi, Jitender Singh Shunty, has started cremating bodies at a car parking as funeral services become overwhelmed.
A volunteer at a crematorium in Delhi, Jayant Malhotra relayed that such a terrifying situation was unprecedented as people were dying like animals due to lack of oxygen.
Most of the information in this article has been obtained from BBC.