India has been in the grip of a deadly second wave of Covid-19 since early April, with hospitals all over the country running short of beds and oxygen. Bhopal and the rest of Madhya Pradesh were no exception. With 6 more deaths reported on Tuesday, the official total for the city now stands at 916.
The good news is that, thanks to a lockdown set in place on April 12th, Madhya Pradesh was one of the more successful states in getting ahead of the second wave, and the number of infections in the state has been steadily declining over the past week. The lockdown, which has been extended every week for the past six weeks, will start to be eased on June 1st, a government spokesperson announced on Tuesday.
The Chingari clinic has been closed for the duration of the lockdown, but will look to re-open once restrictions are eased and it is once again safe for the children to attend. Several of our staff at Chingari have themselves contracted Covid-19, but we are pleased to announce that all have so far made full recoveries. The Sambhavna clinic, meanwhile, has remained open throughout the lockdown. Our Bhopal’s Community Shield Campaign continues, with Sambhavna health workers and community volunteers bravely risking their own health to help safeguard gas survivors in the city.
On Monday, Madhya Pradesh State Congress announced a drive to identify the true number of deaths in the state, sending people door-to-door to collect directly from the residents. This effort, organised by the opposition Congress Party, is in response to reports from the ground that the true number of Covid-19 deaths in the state has been grossly under-reported by state authorities. It will be sometime before we know the full extent of this fresh tragedy caused by the deadly second wave of coronavirus, and the true number of people, including gas survivors, that have lost their lives in Bhopal. Our hearts go out to all the families and loved ones of those who have died. We also wish to express our admiration and gratitude to all those men and women who have worked so tirelessly throughout this pandemic, despite the risk to themselves, to help safeguard the vulnerable. Without their valiant efforts many more lives would undoubtedly have been lost.