As the pressure of COVID-19 in India magnifies daily with the already taxed medical care system under collapse, Indians are sitting on a knife-edge, their nerves frayed. Illegal trading in oxygen and other crucial supplies has added to their burden, and criminals are preying on the vulnerable as they suffer the dire conditions caused by the CCP (COVID-19) Virus.
By Monday, India consecutively hit another world record coronavirus infections and death toll, the fifth day in a row. Within just one day, newly confirmed cases had risen to 352,991. The official number of fatalities overnight mounted to nearly 3,000 deaths, not to mention the number of those who did not have their name accounted for in the local database as they caught the virus and died at home. The official total number of deaths so far in India exceeds 195,000.
Inexorably, the healthcare system did not have enough supplies in-store to cope with the unprecedented rapid surge, with oxygen cylinders and crucial drug supplies grossly depleted.
Numerous Indians are now forced to seek treatments on the black market, where the items are sold at extravagant prices.
BBC told the story of Anshu Priya, who could not find a ventilator for her COVID-19 infected father anywhere else but the black market, which charged her a whooping 50,000 rupees ($670) for the supply. Usually, the cylinder would only cost 6,000 rupees ($80); she had to pay 8-times the amount of the regular price.
Additionally, while an oxygen concentrator is usually sold at between $330 and $930, black markets would trade the device at the lowest for $2,000 and $2,660 max. The inflated prices also applied to the medicines used for coronavirus patients, including Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, and Fabiflu, which could exceed nearly twenty-fold the normal charge.
For those who cannot afford the exorbitant prices, which are the majority of Indian citizens, many of the patients would either suffocate to death at home or die on the doorsteps of the hospitals.
Tragedies are everywhere. The number of patients unable to survive the lethal virus is increasing, with the bodies being cremated in the open air as crematoriums across the country are operating at maximum capacity.
The DailyMail provided two pictures reported by Devvesh Pandey, a reporter in Bharat Samachar for BSTV Live, which shows the tragic site of an Indian mother carrying her dead son’s body in a rickshaw. He had died from the CCP Virus, but there are no ambulances available to dignify the final journey for the dead.
The surge of COVID-19 has exacerbated any hope for survival in many Indians.
In Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, a woman’s dead body was found on the street. DailyMail reports that she had been abandoned by her son when he learned she had caught the virus. Local officials later charged the son.
In West Bengal, a man committed suicide when doctors told him he was infected with the CCP Virus.
Over the northeast side of India, another story was reported in Patna, Bihar city, which told of a railway worker who beheaded his wife when she was tested positive before jumping off the terrace of his apartment.
Experts in India attribute the dangerous surge to carelessness by its government when the pandemic eased up.
During the beginning of this year, when the coronavirus toll was decreasing but not yet entirely into a safe zone with 11,000 cases in Mid-February, people were allowed to attend religious gatherings and election rallies with public businesses quickly resuming busy operations again.
‘So if there is a lesson here to be learned, it’s that you have to be on your guard. You have to prepare. We should have been stocking up on oxygen,” said Dr. Anant Bhan, bioethics and global health expert.