Covid Crisis: Help Desk in Delhi


CPIML Covid Help Desk is being run in Delhi for almost a week now. More and more student-youth volunteers are joining the Delhi Help Desk and trying to help in all possible ways to address the acute lack of Oxygen, ICU and medicines. The number of Infected people keep rising while the Central Government continues to be in a criminal denial mode. The party in Delhi has called to extend help to the struggling people, and also sought accountability from the Delhi as well as central governments.

Volunteers start their work from early morning and check the availability of Oxygen and beds in hospitals. Most of the time efforts don’t yield owing to absolute non-availability of medical facilities in the over crowded hospitals. On fifth day of the help desk, volunteers checked in Sardar Patel Covid Centre at Chatarpur that was scheduled to open on Monday at early morning. There was long queue with patients in ambulances in front of the Covid Centre. All patients were told they cannot be admitted without getting enlisted by District Surveillance Officers. Such a bureaucratic hassle when every patient is gasping for breath is unacceptable and volunteers demanded from the government to change this criterion at the earliest. The Covid centre also informed the patients waiting there that it has no ICU facility and only moderate patients will be taken. As a result, few patients have died in front of Sardar Patel Covid Centre as has been reported by journalists.

Finding an ICU or an Oxygen bed in the city remains extremely difficult. Several families have been forced to move out the patient struggling for life to other states. Help line numbers given in government portal or by the hospital authorities don't work most of the time. The volunteers are verifying availability of beds and letting patients know.

Oxygen refilling is being done near industrial areas. Our volunteers have helped at least 50 persons throughout the day in refilling oxygen cylinders on Monday. Getting an Oxygen Cylinder remains a very difficult task. Exorbitant prices are being charged by private providers for a cylinder.

Acute lack of medicines like Remdesivir continues throughout the city. Most medical shops are closing at night. Attendees of patients and help desk volunteers are staying awake throughout the night in the hope to get the required dose of the medicine. Despite all these, the central government remains in denial mode about the acute crisis people are facing. A jumla of Oxygen Plant in every district has been delivered by the PM, but no action on immediate supply of Oxygen from industrial sector for medical uses has been declared yet.

Many CPIML volunteers who had earlier recovered from Covid have donated plasma for patients in need.