A man sat weeping on the footpath outside a Delhi Covid facility today as his mother’s body lay inside an auto-rickshaw parked nearby. For hours, he had fought to check her into the facility so she could get urgent treatment.
Mukul Vyas, 28, had brought his mother this morning to the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Covid Care Centre in south Delhi operated by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The gates did not open.
Three hours later, Kiran Vyas, 52, died in the auto in which her sons had brought her. Mukul’s brother was seen pumping her chest, trying to revive her, but it was too late.
“They killed my mother. Where will I take her now? I stood here and waited for hours. They kept asking me to complete formalities – message, WhatsApp… I kept yelling and crying for help but no one came. Now my mother is dead,” Mukul wept.
Among other things, he had been asked to get a reference by a district surveillance officer (a DSO reference) to get his mother admitted.
“When someone is dying, do I have time to go through a 100 formalities? No one helped…” Mukul’s grief was boundless as he spoke of the hours lost in formalities.
From 10 am to 2 pm, there was complete chaos at the centre as relatives waited to get patients admitted in the 500-bed facility at the Radha Soami Satsang.
Another patient, 40-year-old Surinder Sajwan, had difficulty breathing as he sat on a footpath, held by his wife. Next to them, relatives worked the phones. Since there were no ICU or ventilator beds at the centre, people with oxygen levels below 85 were not being allowed in. Surinder’s wheezing kept getting worse.
“We got all the registrations done and yet I have been waiting here outside since 10 am without food and water. Our patient’s situation is bad,” said one man in a PPE suit.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal assured that more ICU beds were being set up across Delhi.
“Almost all ICU beds in Delhi are occupied right now. 500 ICU beds each are coming up at the ground near GTB hospital and the main Ramlila Ground and 200 ICU beds at the Radha Soami complex (the Sardar Patel Covid facility). So, around 1,200 proper ICU beds will be ready by May 10,” he said.
Delhi is the worst hit city in the nationwide Covid crisis. The capital recorded 380 deaths on Monday, the highest in a day, with a positivity rate of over 35 per cent.