In India’s poorest state, a small rural village of Kathil in eastern Bihar, has always lacked access to health care. But when 34-year-old Amakant Singh fell ill with a cough and fever last week, his brother Manto Singh did his best to help.
Minto ran around for four days, collecting limited medication that he could get for his younger brother and nursing him at home. But he knew what these signs meant: Code 19 had reached his village.
On the fifth day, Amakant’s condition worsened. The nearest hospital, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, was more than 30 miles away.
“But when I got to the hospital, there was no doctor,” Manto said. “I was told that the doctors were coming soon and they were told to buy some medicine from the market so that they could give it to the patient.”
After returning to the hospital with the medicine, Manto found out that his brother had fainted, but still no doctor had arrived. “He collapsed in the absence of any treatment and died the same day,” Manto said. If he had been given timely medical attention, he would be alive today. Amakant’s body later tested positive on Code 19.
This is a story being told in rural India, where 65% of the 1.3 billion people live. The second wave of Covid 19, which has devastated India in recent weeks, has brought the healthcare system to the brink of collapse in major cities like Delhi, including oxygen, hospital beds, intensive care facilities and doctors. Is a deadly shortage. On Friday, there was a record increase in 414,188 new infections in the country, bringing the total to 21.5 million cases in India.
It is now spreading to the eastern parts of India. Here, healthcare costs, the number of hospitals and the per capita ratio of doctors are much lower than in Mumbai and Delhi, and there is currently a shortage of specialist doctors – 80% of doctors in India are in urban areas.
In rural Bihar, where one doctor serves 43,788 people (WHO guidelines advise one doctor per 1,000 people), most said that if they fell ill in Quaid 19, they would No proper treatment is expected, sometimes hundreds of miles away. Disease surveillance and death reporting methods in deprived rural communities are also very poor, meaning that the true number of epidemics can never be known.
Lack of technically trained staff has been a major problem during the epidemic. While the state has been given 207 ventilators, they are collecting dust because no one is being trained to operate them. Also this week, pictures of Kovid 19 patients being treated on the floors of Bihar’s government hospitals have surfaced because they are so domineering.
In the village of Amakant, which has a population of 1,000, 20 villagers have recently had a positive experience. Resident Akshay Singh said nearby hospitals did not have doctors, oxygen or medicine to treat Code 19 patients. “You can imagine the lack of beds and oxygen cylinders in hospitals,” he said.
Even when districts are accused of hiding the actual number of deaths, cowardly deaths in Bihar are rising at a record rate. When the epidemic first hit in March 2020, by March this year, officially, 1,578 lives had been lost to the virus in Bihar. But in the last 36 days alone, there have already been 1,499 recorded coronavirus deaths in the state, many of them from rural areas.
Dr Sudhir Mahto, a local civil surgeon and a senior medicine man in the area, said the virus was now eradicating rural areas and they were struggling to diagnose it all. As hundreds of people line up for tests at a local healthcare center every day, many feared that the centers themselves had become super-spreader locations.
In the village of Salempur in Gopalganj district of northern Bihar, the spread of the virus has been brutal, claiming to have killed 10 people in a fortnight.
“Overall, the situation looks very critical,” said Dhananjay Singh, chief of the Salempur village council. Among the dead was his younger brother Sanjay Singh, 48.
“My brother came down with a fever and a throat infection so we took him to a local government hospital in Gopalganj town and he was found positive in Kovid-19. But he still lacked basic facilities. “So we took him to a private hospital in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, but it was too late and he died.”
The state is currently in a lockdown and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey insisted that more doctors and healthcare staff be temporarily recruited to meet the growing need.
But Suresh Betha, a ward official in Gopalganj district, said one of the problems he faced was that the hospital staff considered Kovid patients to be “social outsiders” and did not want to touch them, especially because they had adequate safety equipment. Was not being given He added that common medicines and vitamins recommended for codide treatment have also run out.
“The biggest problem is that the hospital staff does not want to touch the patients for fear of getting infected themselves. The result is that most patients do not want to go to the hospital and when they enter, Their condition becomes critical.
He was also echoed by local civil surgeon Dr Yogendra Bhagat. “The problem is that no one wants to work at this critical time,” he said. “We also have a hard time disposing of cowardly bodies.”
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