Photos: Fear and stretched resources propel a Covid-19 crisis in the Himalayas

Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST
  • In Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district, Pramila Devi's eldest daughter got married and moved away in late April after the family hosted a ceremony attended by over two dozen people. Two weeks after that Devi suffered a bout of diarrhoea. But it was not until 10 days later that her husband Suresh Kumar, who has no income and depends on handouts, took her to a nearby dispensary turned into a small Covid-19 facility with four beds. Devi tested positive with very low blood oxygen levels and died a day later. Her death is a sign of how fear and a lack of facilities are adding to Covid-19 fatalities in remote villages, where many shun tests for fear of testing positive and being forced to go to a hospital far from home.
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Relatives of Pramila Devi carrying her body to be cremated on the banks of the river Ganga, in Pauri Garhwal on May 24. The 36-year-old mother-of-three died the previous night in a village in the Uttarakhand, a day after testing positive for Covid-19.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Relatives of Pramila Devi carrying her body to be cremated on the banks of the river Ganga, in Pauri Garhwal on May 24. The 36-year-old mother-of-three died the previous night in a village in the Uttarakhand, a day after testing positive for Covid-19.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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Relatives unloading Pramila Devi's body from a jeep before her cremation, in Pauri Garhwal on May 24. Devi's death is a sign of how fear and a lack of facilities are adding to Covid-19 fatalities in remote villages, where many shun tests for fear of testing positive and being forced to go to a hospital far from home, Reuters reported.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Relatives unloading Pramila Devi's body from a jeep before her cremation, in Pauri Garhwal on May 24. Devi's death is a sign of how fear and a lack of facilities are adding to Covid-19 fatalities in remote villages, where many shun tests for fear of testing positive and being forced to go to a hospital far from home, Reuters reported.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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Rajesh Kumar, Devi's nephew, chops wood from a forest for her cremation, in Pauri Garhwal, on May 24. India's Covid-19 caseload stands at 27.16 million, with 311,388 deaths as of May 26 according to government data. But some experts estimate numbers are far higher, due in part to low testing rates in India's hinterlands where Covid-19 cases are spreading rapidly.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Rajesh Kumar, Devi's nephew, chops wood from a forest for her cremation, in Pauri Garhwal, on May 24. India's Covid-19 caseload stands at 27.16 million, with 311,388 deaths as of May 26 according to government data. But some experts estimate numbers are far higher, due in part to low testing rates in India's hinterlands where Covid-19 cases are spreading rapidly.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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Suresh Kumar, 43, mourns inside a jeep ahead of his wife Pramila Devi's cremation in Pauri Garhwal on May 24. Devi's eldest daughter got married and moved away in late April after the family hosted a ceremony attended by over two dozen people, Suresh Kumar told Reuters.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Suresh Kumar, 43, mourns inside a jeep ahead of his wife Pramila Devi's cremation in Pauri Garhwal on May 24. Devi's eldest daughter got married and moved away in late April after the family hosted a ceremony attended by over two dozen people, Suresh Kumar told Reuters.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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Suresh Kumar assists Pramila Devi before she was taken to a local government dispensary, at their home in Kaljikhal, on May 23. Two weeks after their eldest daughter's marriage Devi suffered a bout of diarrhoea.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Suresh Kumar assists Pramila Devi before she was taken to a local government dispensary, at their home in Kaljikhal, on May 23. Two weeks after their eldest daughter's marriage Devi suffered a bout of diarrhoea.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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Pramila Devi undergoes treatment at a government dispensary in Kaljikhal on May 23. It was not until 10 days later since Devi’s health deteriorated that Kumar, who has no income and depends on handouts, took her to a nearby dispensary that has been turned into a small Covid-19 facility with four beds.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Pramila Devi undergoes treatment at a government dispensary in Kaljikhal on May 23. It was not until 10 days later since Devi’s health deteriorated that Kumar, who has no income and depends on handouts, took her to a nearby dispensary that has been turned into a small Covid-19 facility with four beds.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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Capsules and other medical items seen at the government dispensary in Kaljikhal,on May 23. Devi had tested positive for Covid-19 with very low blood oxygen levels. Aishwary Anand, the only doctor at the dispensary had advised Kumar to take her to a bigger hospital, but costs were a deterrent.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Capsules and other medical items seen at the government dispensary in Kaljikhal,on May 23. Devi had tested positive for Covid-19 with very low blood oxygen levels. Aishwary Anand, the only doctor at the dispensary had advised Kumar to take her to a bigger hospital, but costs were a deterrent.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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A healthcare worker leaves after conducting rapid antigen tests on villagers amid the Covid-19 outbreak, in Pitha village on May 22. The state of Uttarakhand, which shares its border with China and Nepal, reported 45,568 Covid-19 cases and 6,020 fatalities as of May 25, Reuters reported.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

A healthcare worker leaves after conducting rapid antigen tests on villagers amid the Covid-19 outbreak, in Pitha village on May 22. The state of Uttarakhand, which shares its border with China and Nepal, reported 45,568 Covid-19 cases and 6,020 fatalities as of May 25, Reuters reported.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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Reuters reporters hiked uphill with medics for over an hour to get to Pitha, a village in the district with no road access. Jai Prakash, 38, a local resident, pleaded to his neighbours to get tested for Covid-19. Despite his appeals, only a dozen of the village's nearly 60 inhabitants did so, Reuters reported.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Reuters reporters hiked uphill with medics for over an hour to get to Pitha, a village in the district with no road access. Jai Prakash, 38, a local resident, pleaded to his neighbours to get tested for Covid-19. Despite his appeals, only a dozen of the village's nearly 60 inhabitants did so, Reuters reported.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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Pramila Devi being cremated on the banks of the river Ganga, in Pauri Garhwal on May 24. Pauri Garhwal district - where Devi's family lives - has reported 5,155 Covid-19 cases and 241 deaths. But locals and doctors told Reuters, that many in the district suffering Covid-like symptoms refuse to get tested or test too late.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on May 27, 2021 04:12 PM IST

Pramila Devi being cremated on the banks of the river Ganga, in Pauri Garhwal on May 24. Pauri Garhwal district - where Devi's family lives - has reported 5,155 Covid-19 cases and 241 deaths. But locals and doctors told Reuters, that many in the district suffering Covid-like symptoms refuse to get tested or test too late.(Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

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