With healthcare infrastructure crumbling, the pandemic has shown that it’s now only about the survival of the privileged. What an irony, even to get a hospital bed, drugs, to get oxygen or oximeter or to transport the dead, people are having to resort to using their clout and connections.
In the prevailing situation, only divine intervention with huge dollops of luck can help emerge from the danger for the common man. With the continuous spike in Covid -19 cases, the calls for help online, offline, to helplines and running from pillar to post has only increased. Compared to huge, only a minuscule population is able to get a Covid ICU bed through the routine process. The same situation is occurring with regard to drug procurement, where either the citizens have to use contacts or pay through their noses.
Kumar (name changed), a resident of china gadali area said “We are trying our level best to use our connections more than ever. Even for a Fabiflu tablet, we had to reach out to higher-level officials as it is becoming difficult to procure things.” He said that even cremations are not possible without ‘contacts’. On Saturday one of my relatives expired at a private hospital and they wanted us to take the body before 6 pm. I had to reach out to bigwigs to allow the hospital to preserve the body for one night. We cremated the next day.”
Even officials in the administration have agreed that distress calls and for seeking help for ICU admission have been increasing. Meanwhile, even doctors are overburdened by calls and recommendations. A doctor in the government hospital said, “Even as they enter the hospital, we have people calling us saying that they are from CM’s peshi, health minister’s peshi, a relative of police, local reporter, etc. As days pass the number of such references is only increasing.” He said that the hospital staff are already stressed with the workload.