The Maharashtra public health minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday admitted that alarming rise in the Covid cases has created a tough situation for the state as cities like Mumbai and Pune are facing bed shortage. Similar situation is also in Nagpur and other tier-3 cities in Maharashtra.
Even though the government is of the opinion that the cases are rising because people are not following the rules, but lack of management to tackle the crisis is also visible across the state.
The situation could be gauged from the fact that the minister, Tope even said that there is “hand to mouth” situation of beds in cities like Mumbai and Pune. Same is in the second capital of the state, Nagpur where an average 2,000 fresh cases are being reported while minimum 50 people die due to the deadly virus every day. Irony is that when cases are increasing, beds are not available either in government run hospitals or private hospitals in Nagpur.
If at all beds are available in private hospital, they insist to deposit around Rs 5-lakh as an advance and later charge of Rs 50-60,000 per day for a patient, listing the bills for food, nursing, doctors, beds and medicines. The charges are even more than a 5-star hostel in London. But the government is not coming out to bail out the poor and needy patients when the private hospitals are literary looting people.
In view of the prevailing situation in second capital, Nagpur, the local bench of Bombay high court slammed the Uddhav Thackeray government over the inordinate delay in 1,000-bed jumbo Covid hospital at Mankapur indoor stadium in central Nagpur and warned of summoning chief secretary if no decision is taken within a week.
Expressing anguish over severe bed shortage leading to a spate of deaths, a division bench comprising justice Ravi Deshpande and Justice Pushpa Ganediwala directed private hospitals and nursing homes to provide list of their paramedical staff to the government for utilizing their services for Covid patients within two days. Else, the high court would be constrained to issue a bailable warrant to secure their presence, the court warned.
Virtually censuring the state government for not rising to the occasion to reduce death rate, the high court expressed surprise over its failure to respond to NMC’s proposal on the much-hyped hospital. “The Nagpur city’s situation is dreadful and the death rate is increasing day by day. Since mortuaries are full, there is a queue at crematoriums. The patients are not getting ventilators and oxygenated beds.
The situation is becoming ferocious. We direct the government to take a decision on civic body’s proposal within a week. If no action is taken, we direct the chief secretary to personally remain present to make a statement and explain difficulties in discharging duties,” the bench further observed.
A helpless Maharashtra health minister, Tope said that many hospitals are not following 80:20 formula and due to that many needy people are not getting beds. The state COVID-19 tally crossed 11, 00,000 on Wednesday with the addition of over 20,000 new cases. With this spurt of over 20,000 cases, the state’s COVID-19 tally reached over 11,00,000, spiralling up to rub shoulders with Russia, the world’s fourth worst-hit country. In view of such situation, the state government should not just show its helplessness to tackle the situation, but it must gear up to face the challenges!