COVID-19: Situation grim in UP; hospitals full, queues at cremation ground

Severity of situation can be gauged from fact that in just first 14 days of April, rate of infection has increased more than seven times. There was 31% increase in cases between Tuesday and Wednesday

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: PTI)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: PTI)

NH Correspondent/Lucknow

The situation in Uttar Pradesh due to COVID-19 cases is fast going out of hand. Senior bureaucrats are down with COVID-19 infection, prompting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to go for self-isolation. Doctors, para-medics, policemen, safai karamcharis, teachers in university and journalists are reporting sick and this number is going up with every passing day, prompting ministers in Yogi government and BJP lawmakers to complain about lack of facilities in hospitals.

The severity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that in just the first 14 days of April, the rate of infection has increased more than seven times. The spike in cases between Tuesday and Wednesday has shown a 31 per cent increase.

The spike in COVID-19 has thrown life haywire. There is an acute shortage of beds in hospitals and there is a long wait for ambulances. Essential medicines have suddenly evaporated from the shelf of the pharmacies while there is a long queue at the cremation grounds in almost all the big cities of the state,

Additional CEO of Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) Shachidnand Verma had to wait for over 30 hours before his sample could be taken for a test after his wife tested corona positive.

Cabinet Minister Brijesh Pathak has written to Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad saying that the infection is continuously increasing in Lucknow and the situation is getting worse.

“Hospitals do not have beds and people are not getting ambulances on time. It is taking 4 to 7 days to get the test report of the corona patients. Patients are not getting ambulances. It is reaching their houses after 5 to 6 hours. It takes 2 days to get an admission slip from the office of CMO,” Pathak said in the letter.

He also mentioned in his letter about the tragic death of historian Yogesh Praveen and how he did not get an ambulance in time. “After Yogesh Praveen's health suddenly deteriorated, I personally spoke to the Chief Medical Officer on the phone and requested him to provide an ambulance immediately. I am sorry to say that the ambulance reached late for which he could not get timely treatment and died,” the minister wrote in his letter.

Pathak even suggested a lockdown in Lucknow.

He found support from party MP Kaushal Kishore who wrote a letter to the Chief Minister requesting him to impose a lockdown all across the state “till situation improves.”

The situation is so pathetic that even a senior IAS officer was made to wait in an ambulance for four hours before he could get a bed in SGPGI, Lucknow.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in the Chief Minister's office as well. The Chief Minister's OSD Abhishek Kaushik has tested positive. In addition, a private secretary of the Chief Minister's office has also tested positive, as has the CM’s principal secretary SP Goyal.

The spike has resulted in an increase in the number of deaths. The cremation grounds and graveyards are getting bodies in regular numbers. Ram Negina Tripathi, in-charge of the Lucknow city crematorium said that generally 10-12 bodies used to come on a daily basis but the number has gone up to over 60.

People complain that Nagar Nigam workers are asking for additional money to cremate bodies. Manoranjan Saha, who lost his father to COVID-19, said that he had to pay an extra Rs 1200 for cremation, Rs 300 to purohit and Rs 500 to sanitation workers.

“This calamity has opened the door for many to earn extra money,” he said as he prepares for Ghat puja at the bank of river Gomati.

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