MUMBAI: The infrastructure in Mumbai has apparently collapsed. It's evident from the fact that most of the people in the city are kept waiting for ambulances, beds, COVID-19 swab tests, and reports. It seems that many residents have lost their faith in the administration.
Kunal Purohit, a Mumbai-based freelance journalist narrated his experience with Asia’s richest civic body – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Purohit recently lost two family members to Covid-19.
Kunal said that his 59-years-old uncle, who stays in Ghatkopar, had been running from pillar to post to carry out the Covid-19 test. “He went to several BMC-run hospitals and private labs to get his swab test done, but everyone was asking for the doctor's prescriptions. Without it, no one was ready to do the test. Finally, a private lab relented and sent his swab to a lab. Even after 48 hours, he could not get the test results. The delay in testing and medical treatment caused the lives of my uncle,” Kunal said.
He said that after a few days of the incident, his uncle's 85-year-old mother also passed away. “We wanted to get her tested. But there was no facility for the same. She died due to breathlessness. As my uncle had contracted coronavirus, the BMC was supposed to do the contact tracing and testing of all family members. But it seems hardly anyone cares. This shows that the BMC has failed in its duties,” Purohit said.
He said as a journalist he was able to contact many people who matter in the system. “What will happen to the common man? We are living in a tough time. The system has been crumbling every passing day. We waited for BMC to take actions. Now, there is no hope. So our family members have now decided to go for home quarantine and self-isolation to avoid further spreading of the virus,” he added.
BMC official said that it is very difficult to manage the city resided by more than one crore people. “BMC is facing a shortage of staffers. In the last 20 years, BMC privatized many departments. Those employed in these departments refused to work due to fear of COVID-19. This is has been impacting the administration and healthcare work in a big way,” said the official.
Meanwhile, BMC, which is struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and handling the treatment of the affected people, lost its own deputy municipal commissioner Shirish Dixit due to the corona infection.
Dixit, who was asymptomatic, was pronounced dead when a team of officers reached his house on Tuesday.