While the government is trying hard to hide the horrifying figures of the increase in the number of cases as well as deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus, it is no surprise that India’s healthcare system is not equipped to handle the second wave of covid-19 cases.
Major cities, including Mumbai and Delhi, have imposed stringent restrictions on movement as new infections in the country crossed 2,00,000 on April 16. While the privileged people are safe in their homes. More than 80% of the population still does not have any significant health insurance coverage and approximately 68% of the Indian population has limited or no access to essential medicines.
Describing the current situation of patients asking for hospital beds, there exists the issue of unavailability of beds in most of the private hospitals. Even in the emergency wards, the cost of one bed which would earlier be around Rs. 30000 has been raised twice or thrice to Rs. 100000. Hospitals giving wrong information or turning away patients is another cause that fuels this issue.
In this dire situation, even getting medicines for patients who are in home isolation is proving to be a tough task. Either the medicine is not available in the market or if it is there, it is available at a much higher price. Remdesivir, a crucial drug for the treatment of COVID-19, is being sold at the price of Rs 12,000 per vial against the printed price of Rs 4500. The desperate people have no other option but to purchase these vials to save themselves or their loved ones.
Another medicine named Covifor is out of stock most of the time. Even basic medicine like Zinc tablets, Vit D and Vit C are in short supply. The demand for these medicines is high because the government has advised people to take them.
While these are tough times, it is necessary that everyone stays at home and follow all safety precautions. Spread awareness about the availability of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders as well as essential drugs like Remdesivir, Covifor, etc. However, do not spread misinformation and avoid creating a sense of panic or discomfort among people.