India: Tragic COVID-19 Situation Forces Black Market Oxygen and Medicines

The coronavirus situation in India is out of control. Thousands of people die every day in the country, over the past day, 300,000 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 have been recorded, according to AMPE.

Lack of drugs and oxygen prompts relatives of patients to look for them on the black market, where prices have reached sky-high heights. According to AMPE, citing the federal health ministry, 2023 patients have died in the country over the past 24 hours, and since the start of the pandemic, the death toll has reached 182,553. The total number of cases is 15.6 million, of which 295,041 in the last day alone.

On Tuesday, Narendra Monti, Federal Prime Minister, appealed to his compatriots to comply with all the restrictions imposed, as the health care system faced a serious crisis during the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic:

“The situation was under control a few weeks ago, before the second wave hit like a hurricane.”

Populous India, with its imperfect healthcare system, is becoming the epicenter of a pandemic that has claimed more than three million lives worldwide to date. The last weeks have been marked by numerous mass rallies with the participation of millions of people – events of the Hindu festival Cube Mela, political meetings, sports events.

Local media reports that the production of medicines needed to treat the coronavirus has slowed down and even stopped, as has the production of oxygen. Desperate relatives of patients are often forced to pay exorbitant sums on the black market for medicines and oxygen. The WhatsApp platform is full of desperate calls for help.

Arvid Kajival, the head of the local government in New Delhi, whose wife has been diagnosed with a new strain of coronavirus, talks on Twitter about the disastrous situation in the capital’s hospitals. Some of them have a supply of oxygen that only lasts for a few hours – from 4 to 24. And the staff of the private Apollo clinic in New Delhi talked about a “crazy night” when the oxygen ran out before 2 tanks arrived for replenishment. The life of 200 patients depends on whether there is oxygen there. Approximately 80 out of 142 hospitals in the capital have no more beds available for coronavirus patients.

The US is urging its citizens, even those fully vaccinated, to avoid traveling to India. The UK added it to its red list, while Hong Kong and New Zealand suspended flights from India.

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