What will I tell my kids, asks distraught husband sitting next to body of spouse

Ashish Khare outside GTB Hospital on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Outside the emergency ward of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital on Wednesday, Ashish Khare broke down next to the body of his wife who had succumbed to COVID-19.

In his grief, only one question weighed on his mind: what to tell his children.

“I could not save Meenu. I couldn’t do anything. Rajiv Gandhi (Hospital) said they don’t have any beds and asked us to go to GTB (Hospital). She was fine in the morning,” Mr. Khare cried.

The couple has two children: a 15-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl. “What will I tell them happened to their mother?” he said.

“Just this morning, my daughter was saying how she had not hugged her mother in a while. How will I take her (body) home?”

Mr. Khare said his wife had breakfast in the morning and was talking to him too. “She suddenly fell from the bed. I asked what happened and she said she’s not able to breath properly. I checked her oxygen with the oximeter and it showed 60 and I was shocked. It was 98 the night before. We quickly took her to the car and went to Rajiv Gandhi Hospital, but they said they don't have any beds,” he said over phone to a relative.

“I can’t understand how a fever can do this. I can’t understand anything,” Mr. Khare said while crying to his wife's brother, who was standing next to the stretcher.

Delhiites have been struggling to find beds, oxygen and medical supplies since the latest COVID surge hit the city early last month.

Raju Saha, 25, said he got his neighbour admitted to GTB Hospital after three other hospitals turned them away saying they had no beds for COVID patients.

Only 7.1% of the 21,805 beds set aside for COVID-19 patients in Delhi were vacant at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. There were also only 45 ICU beds available.

Ignoring the signs

The number of active COVID cases in the city jumped 529.4% between March 1 and March 31, while daily cases rose by 939.4%. The number of beds for patients during the same period, however, increased by just 1.6%.

The government started increasing beds on a war footing only in April.

Many hospitals including Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and GTB Hospital are working with reduced number of beds due to the ongoing oxygen shortage.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 8:41:30 AM |

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