India’s health system has collapsed during the Covid-19 crisis

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New Delhi–The second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll of human lives, especially the senior citizens who have become helpless after their sons or daughters died and are now being forced to stay in old age homes.

Manoj Sharma, who lives in Toronto, Canada, lost his brother due to a heart attack. His 88-year-old father is now alone in Delhi and now has been shifted to an old age home as noone left to look after him.

Though some of his family members live in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), they could not come and meet him due to the fear of contracting Covid-19. Thereafter, the old father had to be sent to the Panchvati Senior Citizen Centre in Delhi.

The Panchavati Senior Citizen Centre is an old age home for senior citizens run by a trust where the elderly are provided a place to stay though they have to pay for it.

Manoj Sharma told IANS, “The health system has collapsed during the Covid-19 crisis, my brother died of a heart attack. Though, my brother did not contract Covid-19 nor did my father.”

“After my brother passed away, we (immediate family) sent my father to an old age home where he is being looked after.”

“Some of our family members reside in Delhi-Noida but due to the strict restrictions enforced during the Covid-19 lockdown nobody is permitted to enter anybody else’s house. We considered many options and also spoke to an agency to look after my father at home, but he had not undergone a Covid test,” Manoj added.

“We got support from a place so we shifted my father to an old age home to avoid disturbing anybody from the family during the Covid-19 crisis. Right now my father is fine there and only he will decide what to do next if the situation becomes normal again?”

Praising the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Seva Dal which performs cremation of people in Delhi free-of-cost, Manoj said, “My father was calling an ambulance at the time my brother suffered a heart attack but no one could reach out to him for help. After which my father called the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Seva Dal which cremated my brother and are doing a commendable job of helping other people.”

There are several stories where people have become alone after losing their loved ones, with no one to look after. A Delhi resident Lavina Singh has nobody by her side in this world anymore. Her father died years ago and her mother died of Covid-19 last year. Since then she has become an orphan.

Her immediate family members also left after her mother’s death. She is now living alone. Lavina Singh told IANS, “My mother died of coronavirus infection on December 6 last year. Nobody came to see her after her death, I did e everything on my own, from treatment to funeral, all alone. Some neighbours residing in the same building helped me a lot in these difficult times.”

“I have been living here for the last seven years and was working in a dental clinic where I used to earn Rs 6,000 per month. But during the Covid crisis, they have asked me not to come to the clinic.”

“My mother and I used to earn but now she is no longer alive and my workplace is also shut down. I have to pay the house rent, electricity bill and other expenses. However, my landlord did not ask me to pay rent during the lockdown but how long will they support me. Once the lockdown is lifted, I will have to find another job.”

“My family lives in Delhi but neither did they come at the time of my mother’s death, nor have they contacted me.” (IANS)

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