Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) get treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amidst the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India April 15, 2021. (Reuters)
Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) get treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amidst the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India April 15, 2021. (Reuters)

Covid-19 crisis huge strain on India's healthcare system, says AIIMS chief

Reports of crumbling health infrastructure from across the country have pushed the chief ministers to seek help from the Centre for oxygen and vaccine doses in the last few weeks.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Arpan Rai
UPDATED ON APR 17, 2021 04:58 PM IST

India's healthcare system is hugely strained as it battles the coronavirus disease crisis which has infected more than 14.5 million and claimed 1,75,649 lives, said All India Institute of Medical Sciences chief Dr Randeep Guleria, reported news agency ANI.

Reports of crumbling health infrastructure from across the country have pushed the chief ministers to seek help from the Centre for oxygen and vaccine doses in the last few weeks.

"We are seeing a huge strain in the healthcare system. We have to keep increasing our hospital beds and resources for the increasing number of cases," Dr Guleria said, reported ANI.

"We also have to urgently bring down the number of Covid-19 cases," urged the AIIMS chief.

Explaining that the cause for the recent surge in Covid-19 cases is multifactorial, Dr Guleria said, "The two main causes are-when in January, Feb vaccination started and cases went down people stopped following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and at this time the virus mutated and it spread more rapidly."

Stating that the political rallies and religious activities need to be restricted, Dr Guleria said, "This a time when a lot of religious activities happen in our country and polls are also underway. We can do this in a restricted manner so that religious sentiment is not hurt and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour can be followed."

India's second wave of coronavirus disease has been aggravated by a lack of adherence to Covid-appropriate safety protocols and the circulation of highly infectious strains of SARS-CoV-2, Dr Guleria had said earlier this week.

Guleria pointed out that the infection rate has surged and the disease outbreak is compounded by the presence of highly infectious strains. "Earlier, if one sick person was able to infect around 30 per cent of their contacts. This time those getting the disease are infecting a larger number of people,” Guleria told PTI.

People are taking the disease lightly now, the chief of India's premier hospital said. "If you go out, you see that marketplaces, restaurants and shopping malls are crowded and full of people and these all are super-spreader events," Guleria said. "Around February, when cases started to decrease, people became lax towards following Covid-appropriate behaviour as they thought the virus had become ineffective… So, the rate of spread of the infection is fast possibly due to the highly infectious and transmissible strains circulating,” he had said.

The coronavirus crisis, torpedoing economies and burdening medical infrastructure, worsened at the end of February in India and the country has since been reporting record Covid-19 cases every day.

India on Saturday shattered its previous daily spikes in Covid-19 cases recorded since the pandemic hit the country and saw the biggest single-day jump of 2,34,692 fresh Covid-19 infections, pushing the cumulative tally to 1,45,26,609, according to Union health ministry data.

The country has more than 16 lakh active cases.

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