Shortage of beds, oxygen, cremation slots leaves Capital in a shambles

Patients and relatives outside Lok Nayak Hospital in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

With the issue of shortage of beds continuing in the national capital, search for beds and then long wait at hospitals have proved to be agonising for attendants and relatives of patients, they rued.

For Veena, one such attendant waiting outside the emergency wing of Moolchand Hospital, battling helplessness and hoping for a miracle is all that goes on throughout the day, she said.

“My husband tested positive around nine days back and he was completely fine all these days. On Sunday his oxygen saturation dipped suddenly and then began our search for hospitals. It was not easy and after facing a lot of difficulties we reached Moolchand Hospital. He has been kept in the emergency ward as there are no vacant beds,” she said.

The Jungpura Extension resident added, “This hospital has also asked us to look for beds elsewhere but where do we go now? We have checked everywhere and there does not seem to be any vacancy anywhere. All I have been doing is pray for him. I do not know what else to do.”

South Delhi resident Sonam, who admitted her father at Irene Hospital in Kalkaji, said: “His saturation levels were not right so we had to admit him immediately. Finding a bed itself was a huge task and we had to go to several other hospitals before we finally got a bed here.”

While a steady stream of cars and ambulances kept visiting the emergency wings of hospitals, several also had to leave due to the paucity of beds.

For Gurugram resident Yogesh Rajpal, the painful experience did not seem to end with the lack of beds – rather it continued to the lack of slots in crematoriums as well.

“My father passed away on Saturday night and even though it has been almost two days, the body has still not been released. On Sunday, we were told that the Lodhi Road crematorium is full so the hospital cannot release the body. As of Monday morning we were informed that we need to take the body to a crematorium in Sarai Kale Khan, but it has been two hours and the ambulance has not yet arrived,” said Mr. Rajpal.

Recounting his plight over the past few days, Mr. Rajpal added, “My dad did not even get a chance to get shifted out of the emergency ward. He ideally needed a ventilator but none were available and we finally lost him. The situation is terrible as the entire city is in a shambles. There are no beds, no ventilators, no oxygen – the list of issues being faced by patients is endless.”

At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), patients on stretchers bordered the entrance of the emergency wing.

Sharib Khan, a resident of the Batla House area, said: “My uncle met with an accident and when we got him here we found out that he had tested positive. It has been three days that we are waiting outside. We are helpless as we cannot do anything from outside.”

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 2:57:14 AM |

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