People’s apathy adding to Covid woes in Bengal

Kolkata, July 27 : From Bongoan in North 24 Parganas district to Behala in Kolkata, incidents of inhumane conduct continued to surface in the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal at a time when the world is battling one of the deadliest pandemics of Covid-19.

Heart-wrenching stories of suspected Covid patients dying midway while being taken to the hospital with no one coming forward for help have raised the billion-dollar question: Are Bengalis losing out their sensitivity for which they have traditionally been known for?

The indifferent attitude of the common people towards those suffering from Covid-19 has made politicians rethink on the issue.

“We appeal to the people to be a little more humane in this hour of crisis. Doctors, health workers and the police — they are working day in and day out to facilitate Covid patients. They have risked their own lives. We appeal to all the people to come forward if they see anyone dealing with problems owing to Covid patients. At least this much they should do. Our Chief Minister has already made an appeal to everyone in this regard,” said Indian Medical Association (IMA) President and Trinamool Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP, Santanu Sen.

In a shocking incident, the body of a 55-year-old Covid victim was left for 18 hours at his home in Kolkata’s Behala neighbourhood on Monday. The patient reportedly died of acute respiratory trouble at around 10.30 p.m. on Sunday. He had tested positive earlier in the day. His family members said that despite repeated appeals, no one came forward to help.

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They also tried to contact the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials, the local councillor and the police for cremating the body as per government protocol, but didn’t receive any response from them. Meanwhile, six family members of the victim have also tested positive for Covid-19.

In a separate incident, a 68-year-old suspected Covid-19 patient, Madhav Narayan Dutt, died while being taken to the Bongaon Sub-divisional hospital on Saturday. His wife had cried for help while trying to drag him to the ward. But no one came forward to help.

She had also pleaded for help from the bystanders but no one turned up to help her. Later, doctors declared the patient dead. The video of the deceased’s wife helplessly trying to take her husband to the hospital ward went viral on social media.

Later, the hospital authority formed a three-member committee to look into the matter

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“The Behala incident took place at KMC ward no. 119 which falls under my Behala-West assembly constituency. When I came to know about it this morning, I personally took the initiative and contacted the KMC officials, the state health department and the police to clear the body immediately. I expect common people to come forward in such situations,” said West Bengal Health Minister Partha Chatterjee.

“The state government has scared away the common people. How will they come forward to help in such situations? The state has no adequate infrastructure or well-planned out mechanism to fight the pandemic. Now they are pointing fingers at the commoners. They need to build a network at the block levels to deal with such cases. But there is no planning on the part of the state government. I request the CM to look into the matter,” said senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sujan Chakraborty.

Chakraborty said that volunteers are ready, but they need to be backed by facilities before taking a plunge into such damage control modes. “It is a pathetic situation. No one knows what to do now. We cannot blame them for their inaction,” he said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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