Fear mounts in New Delhi as hospital beds run out for COVID-19 patients

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NEW DELHI: In New Delhi, Ashwani Jain succumbed to the coronavirus in an ambulance as his family pleaded with several hospitals to take him in as a deadly shortage of hospital beds rise in the Indian capital.
“They don’t care whether we live or die,” said his 20-year-old daughter Kashish, whose uncle, Abhishek, sat with Ashwani in the back of the vehicle on its desperate journey across Delhi.
“It won’t matter to them but I have lost my father, he was the world to me,” she said, tears welling up as she showed a photo of him.
All of the hospitals the 45-year-old businessman’s family tried refused to admit Ashwani, even though an app set up by the city government indicated COVID-19 beds were free, Abhishek told foreign news agency.
With surging infections highlighting the precarious state of the Indian healthcare system, the death of Jain and others like him have heightened anxiety in Delhi over the growing threat.
More than 1,200 have died from the virus in the Indian capital and more than 1,000 new cases are being reported each day.
Mortuaries are overflowing with bodies and cemeteries and crematorium staff say they cannot keep up with the backlog of victims. Some local Delhi councils say the real death toll is twice the number given by the regional government.
Indian media has been full of tragic stories of people dying after being turned away by hospitals.
One pregnant woman died as she was being shuttled between hospitals. A 78-year-old man petitioned the Delhi High Court for a ventilator bed but died before the matter could be taken up.
India has now recorded more than 300,000 coronavirus cases with nearly 9,000 fatalities. …Agencies

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