THE COVID-19 HEALTHCARE CRISIS
At a weekly average of 3.3 lakh COVID-19 cases across India, the healthcare system, both public and private, is stretched to far beyond its capacity. Hospitals have run out of drugs, beds, ventilators, and oxygen, and to make matters worse, we may soon face a shortage of frontline healthcare workers. Families crying for help outside COVID hospital, at oxygen refilling centres, and cremation grounds are all over media.
Fully aware of the challenges, people are looking for solutions to manage COVID-19 treatment at home as far as possible. However, these are not feasible if reliable life-saving equipment remains unavailable. Moreover, for patients from low-income families and rural areas, who solely depend on the public health system for quality medical care, the unavailability of resources has added to their misery.
As the centralized healthcare system faces a collapse, the Indian Government plans to import 1 Lakh oxygen concentrators using the PM CARES Fund. Countries across the world have extended a helping hand and to meet the local demand: oxygen concentrators from the UK, vaccine raw material from the US, oxygen generators and electric syringe pumps from France, and mobile oxygen generation pumps from Germany are already on their way or will be soon.
However, this is not the first time that India has sought external assistance during a crisis instead of channeling its resources locally to meet the surging demand. Can an attempt be made to build such solutions in the middle of this emergency caused by a raging pandemic? We are here to answer this question through Mission Bharat O2.