The pandemic is exponentially mounting and sabotaging lakhs of lives every day in the country. Karnataka is trying to withhold the 'unprecedented' surge with 47,563 new cases on Saturday leading the final tally to 18,86,448.
Around 482 COVID-19 related fatalities were witnessed by Karnataka on Saturday, while the health care workers are combating the virus at the frontline in light of the overwhelmed healthcare system.
A junior resident at COVID-19 care government hospital in Bengaluru, Dr Shilpa's most heart-wrenching task while battling the deadly virus is to distinguish amongst several critical patients when only one ICU bed is left in the hospital almost every day.
"Most days, we will only have one ICU bed that is vacant and we have to choose between 30 sick patients and choose one patient to be shifted to the ICU, knowing very well that the other 29 patients will die in the next one or two days," she said
"During the last two weeks, Bengaluru has seen a record number of COVID-19 cases. I have worked for the last one week in a ward of 170 patients for whom just two doctors were available to take care of them. The doctor-patient ratio has stooped to such a low level that it was almost impossible for us to take care of our own patients. And as someone who has worked in the first wave, I noticed this time it was more severe," said Dr Shilpa, reported NDTV
Dr Jeevan who's also a junior resident doctor at a government hospital informed that every healthcare worker is toiling, sometimes, 48 hours straight without any relief."A junior or senior doctor is equally working in a COVID-19 ward for 6 to 8 hours straight in PPE, that too in this hot summer without food, without water, without using washrooms. Running between wards seeing 80 to 100 patients... It is so physically exhausting," he said.
Several young doctors also expressed concerns about confronting family members. Dr Naveen Jayraj, a resident doctor at emergency medicine of Apollo Hospitals at Bannerghatta road, "All of them (patients), not just most of them, require oxygen. But we are not able to help all of them. We see families getting distressed seeing their loved ones suffer. And they get arrogant and many times very aggressive. This is putting added stress and agony on the already stressed staff. "
"We also are feeling very helpless due to the lack of resources," he added.
The doctors also deliberated about the risk they have to deal with as the country is experiencing a massive number of deaths of health care workers and their families due to COVID-19. "I find it very scary sometimes to go to my house after my shift thinking I would be the one carrying the infection home to my elderly parents and young family members," said Dr Jeevan."It is time we stand together, support each other and fight this pandemic together," he added.
In order to curtail the vicious spread, the Karnataka government has declared a two-week lockdown from 6 am on May 10 to 6 am on May 24.
Given the oxygen shortage, the Supreme Court assured that it will not leave Karnataka behind as it intervened in Karnataka's high courts' order to increase the daily oxygen allocation from 965 tonnes to 1,200 tonnes to the state.