BHOPAL: The Covid-19 pandemic proved more fatal for the survivors of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy than the lethal methyl isocyanate gas leak that claimed more than 20,000 lives. The death rate and rate of affliction by Covid-19 is noticed more among the gas victims.
According to the figures released by the health department till November 15, out of total 518 Covid deaths in Bhopal, 288 were of gas victims. Not only this, but more than 7,500 corona-positive cases — about 40% — were found in the gas-affected localities when the total count of Bhopal stood at 20,000 cases.
The study shows that the maximum number of cases was reported from Jehangirabad, TT Nagar, Ashoka Garden, Shahjehanabad, Aishbagh and Nishatpura, which were also the worst-affected by the gas leak. Gas-affected people inhabit these areas in large numbers.
The Covid-19 death rate among those exposed to the lethal gas is 6.5 times more when compared with those who were not, said Rachna Dhingra, convener of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action. Gas victims were already suffering from pulmonary disorders, kidney ailment and lung infection and were, therefore, more vulnerable to coronavirus. Despite that, the state government, instead of making special arrangements for them, had converted the BMHRC hospital specially dedicated to gas victims-into a Covid hospital, she added.
An analysis of corona-afflicted gas survivors shows that people in the age group of 20-30 suffered the most, with 1995 cases in this age group. The next vulnerable group belonged to the 40-50-year age group, which constituted 20% of the overall cases.