COVID Crisis Brings Chhattisgarh to Its Knees

Naman Shah
·2-min read

Video Producer: Naman Shah

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

In Chhattisgarh, mortuaries are overflowing with bodies of COVID patients and there is severe shortage of critical medicines. Apathy and negligence amid this COVID surge have brought the state's healthcare system to its knees.

When compared to other states, Chhattisgarh is far ahead in crossing its previous peak. It is only behind Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, in the number of active cases. According to the government data, COVID deaths in the state rose by over 2,000% between March and April.

The bulk of cases has largely spread in the cities of Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur and Rajnandgaon. These places are facing a severe shortage of critical medicines due to the sudden surge of COVID. Administrative inefficiency add further bottlenecks to the supply of medicine.

Patients in the state's biggest government hospital, Raipur's Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial Hospital, have to wait in long lines to buy medicine.

"“We need Remdesivir injection and have been standing here since 5 in the morning. It was the same yesterday also. Government has only made one centre for it. But when we come here they harass us by saying that injections will only be given after the Collector’s orders. Now the Collector has switched off his phone. The medical store says ‘available 24 hours’ but it is locked currently. Now that the medical (store) is closed then where will we buy our medicines from?”" - Patients at Raipur’s Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial Hospital

On 14 April, the doctors of the same hospital went on a strike, after they were given substandard PPE kits.

Adding insult to the already grim situation, a fire at a COVID hospital in Raipur claimed five lives.

However, the present horrific situation of the state is in stark contrast with those from last month, when Raipur was hosting a cricket tournament with large crowds in the stadium. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was also seen enjoying the match without a mask, like thousands of others in the stands.

And now, Chhattisgarh has to resort to lockdown to control the rapid spread of the virus.

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