Tamil Nadu topped the national chart with 36,184 new infections yesterday as Covid-19 second wave has started rearing its head only now. However hospitals and crematoriums are stretched beyond their capacity already. Many instances of oxygen deficiency and unavailability of beds are being reported throughout the state. In one such shocking incident, 58 people are said to be dead because of improper oxygen supply and unavailability of beds in Karur government medical college hospital.
Most of the vernacular media showers praise on the new DMK government for inviting tender from international bidders (including the dubious Sinopharm vaccine developed by China) to procure vaccines, and for inaugurating new crematoriums as bodies are piling up, instead of increasing oxygen supply and beds. But the situation on the ground shows that neither CM MK. Stalin nor his ministers show any capability of handling the situation adeptly. Health minister Ma. Subramanian recently received flak for saying “Injecting Remdesivir is equivalent to injecting water” while thousands queued up in hospitals to buy the drug for their ailing relatives.
Being the constituency of the new Minister of Electricity, Karur gained importance and so the incident got the attention of the media. Tamil Samayam, the Tamil news outlet of the Times Group, reported that due to confusions in oxygen supply and negligence in treatment given to Covid-19 patients, 58 people died in just 2 days. Even though the hospital has 500 beds, all are full as the rate of infection has drastically increased in the last few days.
As per the report, most of the patients arrive in a worsening condition with the need for oxygen. This has resulted in many dying without getting treatment as the system is overloaded. A doctor working in the hospital claimed that even though the hospital has an oxygen tanker with a capacity of 10,000 litres, the demand has put a stress on the system. As per the doctor’s claim, everyday there is a need for 3000 litres of oxygen and when the amount of oxygen stored in the tanker reduces, it results in fluctuation of the pressure.
As a result, patients whose O2 saturation level is very low face deficiency in oxygen supply and die. In this manner, nearly 5 to 10 people die simultaneously in the doctor’s own words. While the relatives of the patients are unaware of such technicalities, doctors are said to have complained to the hospital management to find a solution to this issue which fell on deaf ears. The doctor who spoke to Tamil Samayam claimed that on 18th and 19th of May alone, 27 and 31 patients died, respectively, in the hospital. He also warned that if the situation continues, even more may die and so the hospital management should rectify the technical issues in distributing oxygen as soon as possible.
However, this critical situation in TN has not been deemed worthy of front-page coverage by the ‘national’ mainstream media. When Delhi and UP were facing a similar crisis few weeks back during the second wave peak there, media and courts went on overdrive bashing the centre and state governments.
One can’t help escape the conclusion that apart from the usual Delhi-centrism, such unrelenting scrutiny accompanied with dismissive commentary is reserved by our media and judiciary only for BJP governments. Since a party deemed an ally of the left-liberal establishment is currently in power in TN, the DMK government will get a much longer rope even though Tamils are suffering. One could say ardent DMK supporters who revel in deriding Uttar Pradesh as a state of ‘cow- piss drinkers’, a term used by jihadis, simply because the state elected BJP were humbled by their leaders inefficiency.
(Featured Image Source: Vikatan)
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