The second wave of the coronavirus outbreak has put the country in a state of havoc. The dynamic health crisis, caused by the pandemic, has instilled a state of fear in everyone. With more than 3 lakh cases being reported everyday, India seems to be breaking all its previous records. Vizag itself has more than 8,000 active cases. When we tried to analyse the actual situation of the Covid-19 second wave in Vizag, we came across some inconveniences faced by the patients and their families. A stampede-like situation has arisen in the city as people’s basic needs are not being met. The healthcare structure of our city is crumbling.
The residents of Vizag are in a state of haywire, battling against the second wave of the pandemic. The second wave calls for immediate assistance and properly organised help. Lack of preparation, awareness and concrete veracious information, regarding the helplines, seem to be the major cause of panic among the city dwellers.
As soon as someone contacts the virus, people are immediately shifting into a panic mode. Even in cases of mild symptoms, they are at complete loggerheads as to what they should do next to save the patient. Not enough online consultation by the doctors is available. The dearth of awareness is making them panic even more. People are ready to jump to any extent to save their loved ones right now.
We listed down some of the struggles that people of Vizag are having to go through due to the second wave of Covid-19:
- Absence of State verified information. With respect to the patients affected with Covid-19, there are very few sources that are providing reliable information about the availability of beds, oxygen tanks, and plasma. Information related to self-medication, and other measures, are either incorrect or delayed, resulting in the person developing a serious medical condition. There is a huge information gap resulting in delayed help.
- Drugs and medicines needed for the patients are being hoarded and sold at high prices on the black market. The unavailability of plasma donors, perfectly equipped hospital beds and scarcity of oxygen tanks and ventilators in Vizag are other major issues faced by the residents.
- Hospitals are only admitting patients with oxygen levels above 90 due to the unavailability of their technical needs. The available resources are not enough to support the rising cases.
- There seems to be no system of regularly updating data regarding the Covid care centers, vaccination Centers, and the availability of medicines and beds.
- Shortage of nursing staff and frontline healthcare workers and medical assistance. The ratio between nurses to patients is very low. Healthcare workers are themselves scared of contracting the virus and are also extremely exhausted from relentless work.
- False rumours, baseless claims and misinformation about Covid-19 are playing a huge part by instilling fear in the panic-driven people.
In the midst of the rising cases, of different variants of coronavirus in the air, it should be our responsibility to be aware of the situation. Despite constant calls on preventive measures, the people of Vizag fail to understand the threat of this second wave. It is unless someone close to us suffers from the virus that we act upon it. Wearing masks, sanitising, and regularly washing our hands should become the mantra for survival. Notwithstanding that a year has passed by, not much change is seen in our habits. Vizagites are still seen violating all the Covid-19 prevention measures.
“Volunteers like us get hundreds of calls per day requesting information on plasma donors, hospital beds and oxygen. I have never seen the city so helpless. It is like a bio-war zone right now. Covid-19 is attacking people brutally. By the time that we get hold of verified information, people are passing away,” said Tanya Dhawan, a member of Vizag Covid Resources.
“Hospital beds are the need of the hour. More than ever, people require specialised treatments. Recovered patients of the Covid-19 virus need to come up to donate plasma. We encounter hundreds of people requesting plasma. The requirement for plasma surpasses the number of people donating it. There’s an enormous scarcity of plasma donations.” said Satish, Vizag Volunteers
“After the first wave died down, everyone became careless. They stopped wearing masks, avoided social distancing and other protocols. We need to start following those rules again, use the double masking system and self-isolate. The government-run helpline, 104, is doing a fab job on arranging resources”, said Ananya Gopalsetty, Volunteer with Young Indians, Vizag Covid Resources and Together We Can.
“There should be some official information sharing platform for the entire city. There is a complete state of confusion in people on where to get vaccination from, which medicines to use and where to get them from. Lack of transparency of information has created a commotion. Also, people are at fault for not being responsible. They are ignoring the severity of the situation and need to understand that the second strain is more infectious and deadly”, said Ravikanth, a volunteer at Junior Chamber International (JCI).
It’s clear now that the people of Vizag need to open their eyes and see the reality that is the second wave of Covid-19. A great many are suffering from this deadly virus and the rest are at risk of contracting it. No one’s safe unless they follow Covid-19 protocols and keep themselves at their homes. We all fight this virus together and it will soon leave our beautiful city. Let’s make Vizag Covid-free!