The plight of Delhi amid Covid-19 pandemic

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The capital of India, the centre of all the glitz – Delhi is struggles to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. With more than 28,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, Delhi is one of the worst-hit regions in India, only behind Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Delhi’s tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases is expected to climb to more than 5 lakh by the end of July. Should that happen, the city does not have the hospital capacity to handle such an increased inflow of patients, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodiya said on Tuesday.

The statement of the Delhi Deputy CM came amid the surfacing harrowing accounts of people who either struggled getting a hospital bed in the capital, or lost their loved ones to Covid-19 at the doorsteps of medical centres which refused to admit them.

Despite a nationwide lockdown being imposed in late March, India continues to grow as a global Covid-19 hotspot, with its major cities like Delhi and Mumbai registering large numbers of new cases every passing day.

According Deputy CM Sisodia, Delhi will need nearly 80,000 beds if the cases reach the gigantic numbers projected by the government agencies. Against the desired number of beds, the national capital currently has a meagre 9,000 beds. For a city that is the densely populated heart of the nation, this is an alarming news.

The pressure on healthcare service providers, both public and private, is beyond any measure. A Delhi University student, Aniket Goyal claimed that his grandfather was refused admission in at least six government hospitals, all of which cited unavailability of beds as the reason. The government app, which Aniket used to find the hospitals, showed otherwise.

When his family turned to private healthcare facilities, they withdrew since the daily cost of treatment was so high. Aniket’s family went on to file a public interest petition in the court, seeking legal aid. However, by the time the court set a hearing, the 78 year-old ailing man had died.

With Congress leader Manish Tewari calling out the Delhi government for the “broken system”, the national capital continues its struggle with the coronavirus. The rising number of infected people, as well as of those who lost their lives, is raising many questions upon the city-state government’s ability to curb the Covid-19 spread in Delhi.

Whether or not the Covid-19 cases in the capital rise to the projected numbers is yet to be seen. However, a difficult time certainly lies ahead for the residents of Delhi, owing to the acute shortage of resources to effectively combat the rapidly increasing number of people infected with coronavirus.

 

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