“We carried dead bodies of COVID-19 patients on shoulders,” Muslim taskforce in Malegaon decry mismanagement, lack of coordination

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By Musheera Ashraf, TwoCircles.net

Malegaon: Highlighting the crisis faced by healthcare workers in Malegaon to fight rising COVID-19 deaths, Feroz Dilawar, a member of taskforce created to combat COVID-19, said that, “due to lack of staff our volunteers carried the dead bodies of corona patients on shoulders and then drove them to the graveyard.”

Feroz has been part of Taskforce for COVID-19 from day one. “It was Dr Saeed Farani who came up with the idea of the Task Force to help the people of Malegaon as the situation was getting worse,” he said.

According to the latest information shared by the Union Health Ministry, Maharashtra has recorded 59,546 cases of Coronavirus, in which 18,616 people have been cured and discharged so far and 1982 people have died.

The administration claimed that they have been planning to gear up with the situation but as per taskforce members, there has been no such implementation on the ground. “The task force consists of students and all other common people from different areas. We made team leaders for better management,” Feroz told TwoCircles.net.

Feroz said that the stigma attached to coronavirus is making doctors wary of going near the patients. “The doctors fear to go near the patients. They throw the medicine towards the patient,” he said, adding, “When doctors are in such fear, how can we expect proper cleanliness and sanitation. The sweepers also fear going inside wards.”

While the state’s population density is about 465 per square km. Malegaon has a population density of 19000 per square kilometre. Sixty percent of Malegaon’s population lives in slums, where social distancing cannot be successful.

Another task force member Mubasshir Mushtaq said that, “it was to effectively deal with the situation in collaboration with the local administration and to create awareness among the people that the Task Force came into existence.”

Mushtaq said that the situation was such that the doctors and patients didn’t have drinking water.

Jeevan Hospital in Malegaon which was being used as a warehouse earlier was turned into a dedicated COVID hospital. The hospital, however, had no central oxygen line. “The volunteers from the Task Force went inside the COVID ward and repaired the cylinders,” Mushtaq said.

Feroz said that the Taskforce came into being on 11 April 2020.

“Many people who initially joined the Taskforce left because the situation was scary as they would witness 5-6 people dying every day in front of them,” he said.

Feroz said that it was the responsibility of the administration to provide facilities but they failed miserably. “The administration even failed to provide us with sanitizers. They kept on saying that they will but they didn’t,” Feroz adds.

Feroz said that the motive of the doctors and the task force was to work for the welfare of common people. “We could provide them with care and help which the administration was failing to provide them,” he said, adding that, “in Malegaon, people were dying of fear rather than the virus.”

“The staff is not willing to work under such critical conditions. We proposed to the commissioner that we will have a register of all patients and we will have a helpline number that will help the patients inside the hospitals to connect to us regarding the problems they faced,” he said, adding, “but the administration failed to support the task force in providing better facilities which however could have reduced the panic among people.”

While the planning and meetings go on as per schedule, the officers and government are not working on the ground to the extent they should, laments Feroz.

“Police also didn’t cooperate with us. We didn’t get the kind of support we should have got from the government and administration,” he said.

Feroz said that the reason for this management is the lack of coordination between the administration and healthcare workers.

Courtesy: http://twocircles.net/2020jun03/437292.html?amp&__twitter_impression=true

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