Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid in India: Expats worry about lack of hospital beds back home

SM Ayaz Zakir/Dubai
Filed on April 27, 2021
A relative holds a bottle of medicine administered to a patient sitting inside a car waiting to enter a Covid-19 hospital in Ahmedabad for treatment. — Reuters

Residents who lost relatives in India to Covid say the country faces acute shortage of oxygen, hospital beds

Indian expats in the UAE may be miles away from home, but they feel the “panic, anxiety, and distress” of loved ones who have been struggling to find hospital beds in India. A tsunami of Covid cases continue to claim lives in the country.

Nabeel, a Sharjah resident, had just lost his uncle. “He had been suffering from cough and fever in the early days of Ramadan and tested positive for Covid-19. We pleaded with many hospitals in Bengaluru to admit him as he required immediate attention. But the only replies we received were 'a lack of beds',” he told Khaleej Times.


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From his Sharjah residence, he was glued to a video-call with his cousins all day, scrambling to find alternatives and racing against time to save his uncle’s life. They managed to get an oxygen cylinder that lasted about a few hours.

“We were lucky to get admission in a hospital in Mysore. But my uncle breathed his last just 15 minutes after he was confined,” Nabeel said.

Hadiya, another Indian expat, couldn’t help but panic because her sister’s oxygen level had been dropping. They had been knocking on the doors of many hospitals in Bengaluru, but to no avail.

“We managed to get oxygen from a clinic a few kilometres away from our residence. Her oxygen level increased but only for a very short period, as they had to drop shutters for the day. My sister returned without the oxygen cylinder,” Hadiya said, hoping that more helpful information could be shared on social media, instead of fear and negativity.

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