Covid-19: Patients struggle at home as hospitals gets choked

As hospitals in Delhi and many other cities run out of beds, people have been forced to find ways to get treatment for sick patients at home.

Many have turned to the black market, where prices of essential medicines, oxygen cylinders and concentrators have skyrocketed and questionable drugs are now proliferating.

On Monday, India recorded a new global high for daily coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day at 349, 691.

A citizen could not get a hospital bed in Delhi or its suburb of Noida.

Hence, her father-in-law’s condition continued to deteriorate.

She spent most of Sunday looking for an oxygen cylinder but her search was futile.

So she finally turned to the black market. She paid a hefty amount – 50,000 rupees ($670; £480) – to procure a cylinder that normally costs 6,000 rupees.

With her mother-in-law also struggling to breathe, Anshu knew she may not be able to find or afford another cylinder on the black market.

This is a familiar story not just in Delhi but also in Noida, Lucknow, Allahabad, Indore and so many other cities where families are desperately cobbling together to make shift arrangements at home.

But most of India’s population cannot afford to do this.

There are already several reports of people dying at the doorsteps of hospitals because they couldn’t afford to buy essential drugs and oxygen on the black market.

The BBC called several oxygen cylinder suppliers and most of them asked for at least 10 times more than the normal price.

The situation is particularly dire in Delhi where there are no ICU beds left.

Families of those who can afford it are hiring nurses and consulting doctors remotely to keep their loved ones breathing.

But the struggles are huge from getting blood tests done to getting a CT scan or x-ray.

Labs are overrun and it’s taking up to three days for test results to come back. This is making it harder for treating doctors to assess the progression of the disease.

Doctors say that these delays are putting many patients at risk.

Some said they didn’t have any free beds and others said they were not taking new patients due to continuing uncertainty over the supply of oxygen.
A number of patients have died in Delhi due to a lack of oxygen supply.

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Source: BBC

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