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Families of Covid patients flood social media with cries for help

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India’s daily tally of new covid-19 infections hit a new record of 2,34,692 cases in the past 24 hours, according to health ministry data, marking the third day in a row when the number of newly diagnosed people has surpassed the two lakh mark.

Positive rates for testing in the country are also in double digits with the country recently overtaking Brazil to become the second most affected in the world, behind only the US.

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As deaths from COVID-19 continue to rise in the country with 1,341 new deaths from illnesses reported in the past 24 hours, and as the country’s health infrastructure faces increasing pressure, families turn to social media for help with the procurement of medicines, beds in hospitals, plasma and even oxygen cylinders.

In many cities, even those who have provided samples for COVID testing have complained of delays with results arriving after 48-72 hours.

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Reports of patients struggling to arrange hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders and life-saving medicines for their families have sprung up from several parts of the country, with some complaining about not having tests available to diagnose friends and family members who are showing signs of illness.

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“The situation is so bad that I can’t even get medicine for my own family members,” said Rajiv Singhal, secretary general of the Indian Association of Chemists and Medicines said.

“We are trying to crack down on those who do illicit marketing, but I admit there are leaks in the system,” said Singhal.

Meanwhile, with widespread shortages of oxygen cylinders being reported across the country, the government has announced plans to have 100 new hospitals that have their own oxygen plants.

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On top of this increasing pressure on the health care system, the crematorium is also struggling, with people queuing for hours to get their turn to bury their relatives, according to some reports.

Reports have also emerged of lead sheets being used to surround the cremation site in Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow to prevent people from taking pictures at the crematorium after videos showing dozens of firewood burning there went viral on social media.

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