Over the last two months, COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra have soared from a few thousand to over 63,000 on Sunday. Over the past few days, Maharashtra has repeatedly set all-time-high records with its staggering caseload, even as the government imposed restrictions and began mulling a complete lockdown. But the problems go much beyond this.
As an increasingly larger number of people began testing positive, hospitals in the state began to overflow. In Maharashtra's Osmanabad for example, visuals from the district hospital indicate a severe shortage of beds. As per an NDTV report, COVID-19 patients are now huddling in wheelchairs to receive oxygen. A handful of nurses and doctors work tirelessly to help as many people as possible.
It is not just a small-town crisis. As the FPJ reportedly recently, Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital has now resorted to setting up beds in the lift lobby to cater to coronavirus patients. Even as videos of the same went viral, a senior doctor revealed that the hospital had a waiting list of more than two days.
Much has been said over the last few days about Maharashtra's supply of COVID-19 vaccines. As politicians and government officials alleged inequitable distribution, inoculation centres in Mumbai and elsewhere had remained shut due to shortage. Now, the use and distribution of the drug Remdesivir has sparked fresh debate. On Sunday, the State Public Health Department suggested that retailers dispense the injection only if it is accompanied by information submitted by head of the hospital about the patient with the prescription in the given format.
Reports indicate that the Maharashtra government is preparing for a complete lockdown. While an official announcement is yet to come, the administration is expected to announce a 15 day lockdown from midnight on April 14 to 11.59 pm on April 30. At the same time, as cases continue to rise, healthcare workers are now bracing for a spike in the state's COVID-19 death toll.