In Covid’s grip, India gasps for air: ‘If there is an apocalypse, this has to be one’

Vikas Dandekar in Stat News:

In cities big and small, hospitals are too full to accept new patients and diagnostic centers take up to three days or more to do chest scans of those who might have Covid-19. Doctors and hospital staff are completely exhausted.

Social media is flooded with passionate pleas for oxygen cylinders and concentrators. WhatsApp groups are filled with messages as friends and families scramble to access oxygen, remdesivir, tocilizumab, steroids, and other therapies. In a country where drug regulatory oversight is suspect, indiscriminate sale of fake drugs is a huge problem.

As someone who has covered the pharmaceutical and health care industries for more than two decades, I get calls for help into the wee hours of the night from family members, friends, and even acquaintances. Fake therapies are something I constantly worry about as I try to use my contacts to help people looking for hospital beds, medicines, or oxygen cylinders. Sometimes I’ve been able to help, but the calls are so many and the problems so big that often I cannot.

More here.