The hospitals are full, there is a lack of oxygen, protective equipment and medicines, and dead people are burned on the ground because the crematoria have also burst capacity.
The second wave of infection has hit India hard. The crisis in the country continues to increase in scope and is described as “out of control”.
At the Ganga Ram Hospital in the capital New Delhi, the lack of oxygen has recently made a strong impression on health professionals who treat corona patients.
Chahat Verma works as a doctor at the hospital. As many of her colleagues are also infected with the virus, she has to look after up to 30 patients on her own.
To The Guardian Verma says that it has been unbearable to see the faces of patients when the oxygen supply to the surrounding patients has been cut.
– They could lie there and watch other patients gasp – unable to breathe on their own. They knew they were not going to get oxygen because there was no more oxygen. There was pure fear in their eyes. They knew they could be next, says the doctor to the newspaper.
So five patients die in one day
On Monday, India registered 3417 new corona-related deaths in the last 24 hours. It is the fifth day in a row with more than 3,000 deaths.
Verma believes the clinical symptoms during the second wave differ from during the first wave last year.
– Young patients are completely stable, before their oxygen levels suddenly plummet, she says.
One day she saw five patients die. The doctor is said to have tried to resuscitate them with cardiopulmonary resuscitation – to no avail.
– It’s horrible. They become slack and do not react when the heart and brain notice the effect of being depleted of oxygen. All organs need oxygen. The effect on the body when it does not get what it needs is terrible.
According to Times of India 25 patients died at Ganga Ram on April 23, due to lack of oxygen. On Saturday last weekend, a total of 34 patients died in hospitals in New Delhi and in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Haryana for the same reason.
The worst thing for Verma has been to tell relatives, who are also hospitalized with corona, that a family member must be moved to the intensive care unit – or that he or she will not survive.
– Several have lost the spark of life when I have come with the message. A woman who lost her daughter could no longer fight the virus infection. Another couple lost both their son and daughter. It was too much.
Norway also threatens
Indian health experts have blamed premature reopening for the crisis now unfolding in the country. It points to, among other things, large religious gatherings, the reopening of public places and political rallies.
India has also detected a double mutation of the coronavirus, which is estimated to be more contagious. It is also suspected that the vaccines may have less effect against the mutation.
Recently warned Minister for Development Aid Dag-Inge Ulstein that the situation could create a global pandemic disaster and vaccine crisis. Frode Forland, director of the National Institute of Public Health, describes the situation as dramatic.
– India has a large population, a lot of poverty and there are many who live close by. The ability to keep your distance at home is a luxury that many do not have in India, and many do not have access to protective equipment. Thus, there are some basic preconditions for social measures that are missing, he said Dagbladet Saturday.
– In parallel, we see that the health care system is collapsing. Lack of beds, infection control equipment, oxygen and probably vaccines are reported. The situation is very critical, said Forland.
The pandemic has claimed at least 218,000 lives in India. The real numbers are estimated to be far higher. About 10 percent of the country’s 1.3 billion inhabitants have so far received at least one vaccine dose. About 1.5 percent are fully vaccinated.