Agra, April 30, 2020-
Health services network in Agra, both private and public, has failed to cope with the increasing pressure and demands from an alarmingly rising number of Covid-19 cases, whose tally climbed to 455 on Thursday morning. So far 74 have recovered and returned home and 13 people have died.
Private medical practitioners were being targeted by patients and administrative officials. However, the charges were effectively denied by the doctors who blamed the district authorities for compounding the problem and failing to provide protective legal framework to facilitate return to normalcy.
The district administration has circulated helpline numbers for medical consultations and a list of 25 odd private hospitals where non Covid-19 patients could seek help. But the patients say doctors were refusing to admit or treat them without Covid test. In the last few days several precious lives have been lost in this passing the buck game.
A senior surgeon Shwetank Prakash said, “The role of private doctors and nursing homes continues to remain in confusion. Clear cut policy and direction is lacking. Hospital will be sealed if anyone is found corona positive. I will be labelled corona spreader. These official actions are self contradictory.”
Prakash said asymptomatic carriers don’t know about the corona infection. The doctor is also in the dark. The virus spread continues.
Doctors said the biggest social stigma was the quarantine. They wanted exclusion from the Consumer Protection Act, as there were no universally accepted guidelines for Corona management.
The danger now is that a large number of health workers have been found to be infected with the virus. Even cops on duty continue are infected. More than 80 cops are in quarantine. The nodal officer has said that medical infection at the moment was the biggest worry.
The quarantine centres in the 30 odd hotspots are ill equipped with facilities. Complaints of lack of drinking water, food, clean toilets, continued to flood social media with video clips.
In neighbouring Firozabad, the number of Covid-19 cases has gone up to 105, while in Mathura the number has risen to 13.
Agra police from mid night sealed Agra district borders to prevent movement of vehicles.
A big problem, according to the police, continues to be the lockdown violators, although 471 have been arrested and cases against 1344 people were registered. The police has challaned 25,539 vehicles and seized 1065. Still, in many areas people continued to defy restrictions. Those held complain they had to move out for essentials, medicines or hospitalisation. (Agency)