Patna: Lack of oxygen, adequate beds and timely treatment are claiming the lives of many severely affected COVID-19 patients across Bihar. In a heartbreaking incident on Tuesday, May 4, a pregnant frontline worker – a nurse, infected on duty at a government hospital, died in the state after failing to get oxygen and an intensive care bed . Angered by the death of a co-worker, frontline workers and angry doctors protested at Sadar Hospital in Madhubani to demand adequate intensive care beds in each hospital.

The incident took place three days after Bihar’s Minister of Industry, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, a senior BJP leader, claimed there was no shortage of oxygen or beds in the State. Bihar health
Minister Mangal Pandey, who is also from BJP, has also repeatedly refuted the oxygen crisis in state hospitals.

Meanwhile, in a bid to bring the alarming COVID -19 situation in the state under control, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday announced a full state lockdown until May 15. The foreclosure decision was made a day after Patna’s High Court observed that the government failed in
control the COVID-19 situation and that if the state government does not declare a lockdown, the court will need to make an appropriate order.

Despite repeated criticism from the Patna High Court over the past two weeks and oral submissions against the state government’s inability to provide oxygen to hospitals and organize appropriate beds and treatment, nothing appears going in the right direction on the ground.

In the latest incident, the 7-month-pregnant nurse from Madhubani District, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, was reportedly referred to Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital at the local district hospital. However, unable to access oxygen or even a bed for proper treatment, the nurse is said to have breathed it for the last time on Tuesday.

As a result, frontline officers at Sadar hospital boycotted the emergency department and went on strike for more than three hours to express their displeasure.

In response to this, a civilian surgeon at the hospital, Dr Shakendar Kumar, said all requests from hospital staff and frontline workers would be met by the administration. Kumar added that all facilities, including adequate security, would be provided to them at the hospital, COVID-19 care center and quarantine center.

Also read: COVID-19: Bihar ASHA workers die in silence over government feigned ignorance

The Bihar chapter of the Indian Medical Association has previously expressed serious concern over the deaths of 47 doctors in Bihar during the ongoing second wave of COVID-19. According to officials at IMA Bihar, Dr Vinay Kumar Singh, a doctor stationed at Gardanibagh Hospital in Patna died on Tuesday after being infected while on duty. Two days earlier, a primary health center in charge in Punpun in Patna district reportedly died of COVID-19.

The Patna HC observed on Monday that the state government had failed to control the COVID-19 situation in Bihar. He further said that there was no plan of action with the government to deal with the pandemic and that health ministry officials were submitting prank reports, which are far from the truth. in the field.

According to some sources, in Patna, most private hospitals are refusing to admit COVID-19 positive patients, citing a lack of oxygen supply. Even if someone has managed to get beds, authorities are asking his next of kin to provide him with oxygen, according to reports.

“We have no choice but to stand in a long line to fill the oxygen cylinder because private hospitals refuse to admit a patient without oxygen,” said Ashutosh Kumar, a businessman. , whose father is admitted to a private hospital in Patna.

In another case, Amit Kumar, a bank official and resident of chic Nehru Nagar here, said he and his elderly mother tested positive for COVID-19. When his oxygen level dropped on May 1, he visited three major hospitals in the Patliputra region and two hospitals in Kankarbagh, but they refused to admit him in the absence of oxygen. Later, a private hospital on Gola Road admitted her on condition that the family had two bottles of oxygen.

Likewise, when another patient, Sunil Kumar Singh’s condition deteriorated as he became short of breath and uncomfortable, his family members took him to Patna Medical College and Hospital, at the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences in Gandhi and half a dozen private hospitals, but none of them admitted on the grounds that there was no oxygen, his family said.

In Patna, a bottle of oxygen is said to sell for between 30,000 and 40,000 rupees on the black market. An observation that was also made by the High Court of Patna during a hearing of a PIL on Monday.

The state has 1,07667 active COVID-19 cases as of Monday, after 11,407 new cases were reported. Despite the declining screening rate, the number of positive cases has been increasing every day in the state over the past few days. More than 450 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in the past five days in the state.