More than 3,645 Covid patients died and 3,79,257 fresh Covid cases were reported across India on Wednesday, throwing the entire health infrastructure into turmoil. The total number of active Covid cases has now crossed 30 lakhs (30,84,814), with hospitals in most of the metros and Tier-2 cities unable to provide beds. Maharashtra continues to report the highest number of fresh Covid cases (63,309), Uttar Pradesh (29,824) and Delhi 25,986 fresh cases. 985 Covid patients died in Maharashtra alone on Wednesday.
In my prime time show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ on Wednesday night, we showed how an ambulance was carrying 22 bodies of Covid victims from the Beed district hospital in Maharashtra to the local crematorium. We also showed scary visuals of a Covid patient lying on a bed with a dead body. Around 30 Covid patients were inside an eight-bed ward of the Ahmednagar hospital.
From Lucknow, we showed visuals of an ambulance driver giving oxygen to his mother, who had worked as health worker for 30 years, outside the famous KGMU hospital. The son was waiting for instructions from Covid Command Centre for admission of his ailing mother.
There was clamour for oxygen cylinders, and one vendor in Delhi’s Shahdara pulled down his shutters when he found a large number of people waiting for their cylinders to be refilled. The situation was worse in the newly built Patel Covid Centre in South Delhi, where patients who were admitted, were not provided either water or oxygen. Many of the patients rang up their relatives to take them away. The head of Panchayati Niranjan Akhada, Mahant Lakhan Giri Maharaj passed away at AIIMS, Rishikesh due to Covid.
On Wednesday, over 1.2 crore people above 18 years of age registered their name and details on the CoWin app. The Centre has said that appointments for vaccination will depend on the availability of vaccination centres. For the first time on an April weekday, the number of vaccinations dropped below 20 lakhs on Wednesday. It was barely 19 lakhs. On Thursday, the Centre claimed that it had already supplied 16.16 crore doses to states and union territories, and there were still over one crore vaccines lying with the states. Over 20 lakh doses will be sent in the next three days, a Health Ministry official said.
Meanwhile, emergency aid continued to pour in from different countries. On Thursday, the world’s largest US C-5 military aircraft arrived from Travis Air Force Base at New Delhi, carrying 440 oxygen cylinders and regulators, donated by the State of California. Two flights from Russia, carrying 20 oxygen concentrators, 75 ventilaors, 150 bedside monitors, and medicines, totalling 22 metric tonnes arrived in Delhi on Thursday morning. 120 oxygen concentrators arrived from the UK this morning.
India Air Force airlifted four empty cryogenic oxygen containers from Bangkok to Jamnagar airbase on Thursday morning, where they will be filled with medical oxygen and sent to different destinations. IAF also airlifted 13 containers. Out of them, it airlifted two containers each from Agra to Ranchi, from Chandigarh to Ranchi, from Indore to Raipur, from Hindon airbase (UP) to Ranchi, from Jodhpur to Jamnagar, from Gwalior to Ranchi, and one container from Bhopal to Surat, for filling with medical oxygen and will be sent to various destinations.
Indian Army has established a dedicated Covid Medical Facility at the Old Command Hospital Complex in Pune. Army doctors and paramedical staff will take care of Covid patients. Army has also opened a 900-bed hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and 100-bed isolation complex in Barmer, Rajasthan. Army has also set up hospitals in Bhopal, Gwalior and Sagar.
India TV reporters are working round-the-clock to show you visuals about the sufferings of common people. They also have close relatives who are down with Covid, but duty beckons them. We, at India TV, have not only confined our reports to Mumbai, Delhi or the big metros, visuals are coming about patients and their relatives crying for help from towns like Auraiya, Kanpur, Maharajganj, Shivpuri, Etawah and Dhaulpur. The scenes are almost the same everywhere. People need hospital beds, oxygen, vital medicines and medical treatment. Most of the hospitals have run out of beds and oxygen, and the relatives are frantically seeking oxygen cylinders and vital medicines from outside. Doctors and nurses are working under tremendous pressure and many of them are almost on breaking point. Many of the healthcare workers are themselves Covid patients.
Come what may, India is going to win this war. The Centre, state governments, our air force, army and even the navy, are joining hands to provide succour to the people. The biggest need of the time is: Do not lose courage, do not lose hope. Know that India shall win this war and the pandemic shall lose. It is only a matter of time.
Aaj Ki Baat: Monday to Friday, 9 PMIndia's Number One and the most followed Super Prime Time News Show 'Aaj Ki Baat – Rajat Sharma Ke Saath' was launched just before the 2014 General Elections. Since its inception, the show is redefining India's super-prime time and is numerically far ahead of its contemporaries.