For three days, Goldi Patel, 25, went from hospital to hospital in New Delhi’s oppressive summer heat, frantically trying to find one that would keep her husband breathing.
Four hospitals turned away Patel, who is seven months pregnant with the couple’s first child, before she finally found one that would take him. But the level of care at Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre and Hospital, a makeshift pandemic facility on the outskirts of the capital, is so lacking that her husband is begging to leave.
Around Sadanand Patel, 30, people are dying. He has barely any contact with doctors, and limited medicine. With 80% of his lungs already infected, he’s terrified of what happens if his condition gets worse.
“I am very scared,” Sadanand said Saturday from his hospital bed, through labored breathing. “If my health gets critical I don’t think they will be able to save me.”
As coronavirus cases spiral in India, the country’s health care system has been stretched beyond breaking point. Beds, oxygen and medical workers are in short supply. Some Covid patients are dying in waiting rooms or outside overwhelmed clinics, before they have even been seen by a doctor.
Only some Covid-19 patients manage to get admitted into India’s overburdened hospitals. But once inside, some face a different kind of terror: an absence of medical care or supplies as people die around them.
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