Still grieving the loss of her mother, who died of COVID-19, Manika Goel sits by the feet of her husband, wedged between three other patients in a hospital casualty ward in India’s capital New Delhi.
Manika’s mother Pooja Gupta died on Thursday (April 29) morning, and her husband Amit, 39, is in a critical condition.
Goel, a software engineer at Indian IT giant TCS, procured her husband an oxygen cylinder and vials of Remdesivir, a sought-after anti-viral drug for which there is a growing black market in India.
But doctors say he needs a ventilator, and none can be found.
While the poorest in India are long used to waiting at government hospitals for healthcare, India’s affluent are increasingly in the same position, in a further sign the medical system is on the verge of collapse.
“For two days I have tried thousands of numbers,” Goel said. “Everyone working for TCS is also trying to help but nobody can get anything.”
“I have an eight year old kid, I don’t know what I will tell him when I go without him.”
India’s total COVID-19 cases passed 18 million on Thursday (April 29) after another world record number of daily infections, as gravediggers worked around the clock to bury victims and hundreds more were cremated in makeshift pyres in parks and parking lots.
(Production: Danish Siddiqui, Sunil Kataria)