By Pervez Bari
BHOPAL: When the lives of one and all are at stake courtesy Corona virus human vultures have become active to take advantage of the prevailing precarious situation all around.
While, Covid active cases have jumped by whopping 1000 per cent in just a month from around 5000 to close 60,000. On March 15, 2021 there were only 5024 active cases in Madhya Pradesh. A month on, there are a total of 59183 active cases in the state – a 10-fold increase in just one month.
Despite tall claims by the Madhya Pradesh Government the medical services of small districts seem to have gone downhill in the state because of the rising number of Corona cases. There are 18 districts where the number of cases is more than 1,000.
In such a hazardous environment a total of 863 life-saving Remdesivir injections were stolen from the Madhya Pradesh-run Hamidia Hospital here on Saturday. The 18 boxes containing these injections went missing from the store-room when a team of employees of the hospital went to issue the drug for the patients. The thieves did not steal any other drug or medical item from the store-room and the police concluded that they had only one target—Remdesivir.
Madhya Pradesh Minister for Medical Education Vishwas Sarang, divisional commissioner Kavindra Kiyawat, deputy inspector general (DIG) Irshad Wali and other senior officials rushed the spot after the news broke. Vishwas Sarang said that an inquiry into the incident was underway. He said they would ensure such incidents were not repeated in future.
The stock of 1,500 Remdesivir injections was supplied to Hamidia Hospital on Thursday by the Bhopal district administration. The remaining injections were used and 863 injections were stored in the Central Medical Store (Kendriya Aushadhi Bhandar) from where the thieves made off with the boxes. The grill of the store was damaged and the police suspect the thieves made their way through it into the room.
According to reports, after the theft, there is no injection left with Hamidia Hospital and the district administration has to ensure immediate supply. A patient requires 6 injections and the missing stock could have been used on 145 patients.
At a time when deaths are occurring due to a shortage of Remdesivir injections, the huge stock of injections went missing from the store-room of the hospital. The store-room was closed around 7 in the evening. On Saturday, the incident came to light. The grill of store room was broken by the thieves. However, the police were clueless as they could not find any CCTV footage from the spot. The police also suspect someone from the staff was involved in the crime.
The Hamidia Hospital administration carried out searches inside the compound, but to no avail. The shortage of Remdesivir had made headlines and, recently, these injections were sent to Bhopal and other districts.
As the accused made off with only Remdesivir and did not steal any other object, it was clear that their target was Remdesivir injections. The government has fallen short of Remdesivir and several patients have died in the past for lack of it. The injections are being sold at 10 times higher rates in the black market due to the shortage.
Bhopal’s private hospitals still face acute shortage
Meanwhile, acute crisis of Remdesivir injections continues in private hospitals in the state capital Bhopal. Due to this, family members of the Covid patients are moving from pillar to post for making arrangement for Remdesivir. The health department has ordered stockists to supply the injection directly to the hospitals. Even then, the crisis has not been solved. Remdesivir injection is given for protection of lungs from Covid virus. But now, it is being given after certain stage of the Covid patients.
As per private hospitals, if 40 Remdesivir injections are demanded from the stockists, only 10 injections are supplied. This is the condition of Remdesivir supply in the state capital. It is a challenging task for private hospitals to make arrangement for the injection. JK Hospital and Sidhdhanta Hospital have shed lights on acute supply of Remdesivir injection. JK Hospital management said that there is shortage of injection for the Covid patients.
Earlier, government had taken control of the supply of Remdesivir and the private hospitals were supplied as per their requirements. Now, the stockists have been instructed to supply directly to the private hospitals.
According to Dr. Subodh Varshney of a private Sidhdhanta Hospital there is acute crisis of Remdesivir injection. Even after direct supply from stockists, crisis of Remdesivir has not been solved. Private hospitals are not getting injections as per requirements, leading to acute crisis of Remdesivir injections.
Health services go downhill
Meanwhile, despite tall claims by the Madhya Pradesh Government the medical services of small districts seem to have gone downhill because of the rising number of Corona cases. There are 18 districts where the number of cases is more than 1,000. Because of the mounting corona patients, the health system in the districts is staggering. Besides Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur, the condition of seven districts is worsening with each passing day.
The number of cases has crossed 1,000 in Ujjain, Ratlam, Sagar, Rewa, Khargon, Vidisha, Betul, Rewa, Narsinghpur, Balaghat, Katni, Raisen, Rajgarh and Shahapur. In these small districts, the health services count on district hospital and nursing homes.
The patients are not getting treatment because of the sudden rise in number of cases in these districts. Patients are coming from the cities and villages of these districts. Nevertheless, there are many who have not been tested. Such patients are not on records. Because of the rising number of patients, beds in hospitals, as well as other medical facilities, are not available in these districts. There is also a lack of facilities in the districts where medical colleges were set up.
The local doctors advise the patients to go to Bhopal or to Indore for treatment. Those who are seriously ill are moving from one place to another to save their lives. Residents of the districts where doctors are not available are left to the mercy of God.
Former minister Sukhdev Panse says the condition of patients in Betul has worsened. According to him, the Coronavirus is consuming more than 100 lives every day, but the government is hiding the figures of death. Panse says beds, oxygen and ventilators are not available, as the hospitals are not being given funds for buying medicine and equipment.
Mahant & 100 disciples C+ after returning from Kumbh
Meanwhile, local Gufa Mandir Mahant Pt. Chandrama Das Tyagi and his over 100 disciples are Covid positive after returning from Haridwar Kumbh. Tyagi is himself undergoing treatment in Paliwal Hospital while disciples are undergoing in various hospitals.
Besides, Madhya Pradesh has reported 11269 corona cases with 21.4 per cent Corona positive rate on Saturday. The state reported inflection tally to 3,95,832 and active cases went to 63,889. Toll went to 4491 with 66 new deaths. Around 52,568 samples were sent for testing while 441 samples were rejected at time of testing.
Indore reported 1656 Corona cases and its tally to 87,625 and toll to 1040 while Bhopal tally went to 66891. Indore active cases went to 10,605 and Bhopal active cases went to 8539.
Jabalpur reported 798 corona cases with 4209 active cases and Gwalior reported 985 corona cases with 5130. Ujjain reported 323 Corona cases with 2311 active cases while Ratlam reported 195 corona cases with 1026 active cases and Sagar reported 324 Corona cases with 1426 active cases. Betul reported 255 Corona cases with 1308 active cases while Rewa reported 315 corona cases with 1439 active cases and Dhar reported 170 corona cases with 696 active cases.
Adjacent districts of state capital like Vidisha reported 193 Corona cases with 1179 active cases while Sehore reported 120 Corona cases with 543 active cases and Raisen reported 183 Corona cases with 1096 active cases. Satna reported 183 Corona cases with 896 active cases and Shivpuri reported 157 Corona cases and 818 active cases.
Maha Govt. puts pressure to stop concentrator supply to MP
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Government is mounting pressure on companies to stop supply of oxygen concentrators to Madhya Pradesh. The issue came to light at a review meeting held by state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday. At the meeting, the officials informed Chouhan that the Maharashtra government had already asked a few firms in Maharashtra to stop supply of concentrators to Madhya Pradesh.
The Maharashtra government put pressure on the companies that they should cancel the orders of Madhya Pradesh for concentrators. Nearly 2,000 oxygen concentrators have already arrived in the state. And 1,300 concentrators are being bought for districts.
‘Corona curfew’ extended
Meanwhile, the lockdown christened as “Corona curfew” clamped on more than 30 districts in Madhya Pradesh will not be lifted on April 19. The restrictions will be in place to stop the rising number of patients.
The Corona curfew was going to end in Bhopal, Indore and in a few other districts from April 19.
The situation arising out of the pandemic in the districts, where the Corona curfew has not been imposed, has deteriorated. Therefore, those districts are being placed under curfew. At a meeting between Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and officers, it was decided that, the districts, where the number of cases is high, would remain under the curfew.
The Central Government has asked the states to impose corona curfew by setting up small containment zones, but, as the cases have shot up, the administration has clamped curfew on the entire district.
The Sunday lockdown began from March 21. But, after the number of patients increased, the administration decided to impose lockdown both on Saturdays and Sundays. As soon as demand came from the districts to keep the markets shut, the government gave permission to impose Corona curfew.