Bihar: Compulsion deadlier than disease

After 2 new cases were confirmed on 18 April in Bihar, it has reached a total of 86 Covid-19 cases. Bihar can be seen heading with a relatively slow pace while the covid graph for other populous states like Maharashtra, UP, Delhi and other major states rises significantly.

According to Dr. Chirag from the medicine department, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), the situation appears to be pretty much in control as most of the patients are recovering.

He told Maktoob that the patients haven’t shown severe illness. Further, the medical team is trying their best and have received sufficient PPE kits and sanitizers.

“Currently, all the beds in NMCH are reserved for Covid patients while in PMCH, IGIMS, AIIMS, and others, half beds are reserved for the patients. Plus the government is working to provide all the required instruments like ventilators and protective gear” says Dr. Chirag.

He added that doctors are prepared for whatever it takes to fight against Covid but it’s also important that people follow the protocols and lockdown strictly which can help in slowing down the progression of cases. Since there is no clear cut evidence regarding anything about the virus or its vaccine, nothing can be said in confidence.

Residents of Bihar continue to stay under a lockdown, but what constitutes more than 65% of the population of the state are deprived of basic food and livelihood facilities.

These are the people living in slums and remote regions.

Prabhakar Kumar Prajapati, Social Work Department at Patna University speaks of the troubles faced by the marginalized and poor sections of the society, people living in slums, women, children and old people.

He said that there are issues that lie deeper. Besides the several welfare schemes and services by the government that are meant to benefit the whole excluded community, there’s no scope of luck as they do not fit every criteria required.

Some of them don’t even own a ration card or have an identification proof. The ragpickers, manual scavengers, sanitation workers, etc, cannot be expected to produce resources in order to receive what they deserve. Similarly, under the ‘Jan Dhan Abhiyaan,’ the money never reaches the recipients as most of their accounts freeze over the years.

Mr. Prabhakar also mentioned how many families, social workers, and NGOs have risked to make attempts and leave their houses to provide help.

Due to the lockdown, they are facing difficulties in reaching out as Patna administration has not granted permission for any kind of relief work despite many volunteers who want to contribute and provide some aid.

He added that several letters were sent to the admin for them to either allot some work or give them permission to do the needful but have failed in getting any response from them.

What’s considered to be one of the undeveloped states of the country has shown a good recovery rate so far, with 37 recoveries as of now. After almost 25 days since the first case emerged there have been two deaths in Bihar.

Yumna Ahmed is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi and she studies convergent journalism at AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

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