Family members and relatives prepare the funeral pyre of victims who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus during mass cremation held at a crematorium in New Delhi on April 27, 2021
Family members and relatives prepare the funeral pyre of victims who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus during mass cremation held at a crematorium in New Delhi on April 27, 2021
AFP

Expressing anguish over classical vocalist Rajan Mishra dying in Delhi for want of a "ventilator bed", director Vishal Bhardwaj on Tuesday described the COVID-19 situation and the healthcare crisis as a "national horror movie".

The surge of cases in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a virtual collapse of the healthcare system, particularly in the national capital, with an acute shortage of hospital beds, ventilators and oxygen and the relentless flow of patients, many of them critical.

On Sunday evening, renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Pt Rajan Mishra, who along with his brother Sajan Mishra was one of the foremost exponents of khayal gayaki, died at a Delhi hospital due to COVID-19 complications after the family failed to find a ventilator.

"I still can't believe that we lost Pandit Rajan Mishra.. How do I absorb the fact that a ventilator bed couldn't be arranged for him. Rest in Peace. #PanditRajanMishra," Bhardwaj wrote on Twitter.

"It's a national horror movie that we are watching live," he said.

Several noted personalities, including Hindi litterateur Manzoor Ahthesham, actor Kishore Nandlaskar, actor-filmmaker Lalit Behl, Punjabi actor Satish Kaul, actor Soumitra Chatterjee, Urdu poet Rahat Indori and producer Anil Suri, have died due to COVID-19 complications since last year.

India's total COVID-19 tally climbed to 1,76,36,307 (1.76 crore/17.6 million) with 3,23,144 people testing positive for coronavirus in a day, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. The death toll increased to 1,97,894 with 2,771 daily new fatalities.

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