COVID-19 has pushed the healthcare system to its breaking point. As hospitals struggle to meet rising demand, unexpected accidents in overburdened health facilities worsen the situation.
Thirteen COVID-19 patients were killed in a tragic fire accident in a Mumbai hospital when flames broke out at 3 a.m. due to a short-circuit in the ICU.
There were about 90 patients in Virar’s Vijay Vallabh Hospital at the time of the accident, according to the managing director of the hospital. They were immediately transferred to other hospitals for the right care.
People who witnessed the incident said that the ICU was filled with smoke, causing suffocation and the ceiling to collapse.
The situation of the family members of the deceased was inconsolable as they watched helplessly as the tragic incident unfolded, wailing for their loved ones.
During a time when hospitals are running low on oxygen, a leak in the oxygen storage tank at Nashik's Zakir Hussain Hospital caused 22 COVID-19 patients to die on April 22.
More than 150 COVID-19 patients were undergoing treatment at the hospital when the tragedy struck, with 61 of them on oxygen.
According to preliminary investigations, the leak occurred when a valve malfunctioned while the tank was being refueled.
“Any loss of life is tragic,” Father Nigel Barrett, the spokesperson of Cardinal Oswald Gracias, told the UCA News.
“We are sorry for the families of those who lost their dear ones. Our prayers are with their families at this difficult time,” he said.
Following the tragic event, Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal of Indore called for a day of fasting and prayer on April 23 to ask God for “mercy on the whole world, our nation, our state and our diocese.”
“May the mercy of God help us to be protected from the coronavirus and help those who are affected to be healed,” he said in a message.
In the meantime, the Delhi High Court condemned the federal government for its handling of the COVID-19 situation and has urged it to organize oxygen supplies.
“It seems that human lives are not that important… for the state. Beg, borrow or steal. It is a national emergency,” the judges said on April 21.
COVID-19 cases have doubled in India in the last ten days, and hospitals are running out of oxygen. According to the court, if the government is unable to supply oxygen to the patients, thousands of people might die.
The court told the federal government that “It is your responsibility to provide every metric ton of oxygen that is required by patients in India. It is your responsibility. You cannot turn around and say ‘sorry, we do not have it, lose your life.’ We cannot accept that. You have to go a step further.”
For the second day in a row, India recorded over 300,000 new infections and over 2,000 new deaths on April 23. The country continues to lead the world in average number of daily cases and Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state, accounting for 20% of all new cases.