PUNE: Within two weeks, Arun Gaikwad, 47, saw his world being turned upside down as the raging coronavirus pandemic claimed the lives of four members of his family.
Gaikwad, who works with the Indian Air Force, lost his wife Vaishali (43); her brothers Rohit (38) and Atul Jadhav (40), and mother-in-law Alka Jadhav (62).
The family, which lives in Lohgaon Dhanori area near here, had gathered on March 15 to perform certain rituals following the death of his father-in-law in January.
"We gathered at his house. My brother-in-law Rohit was suffering from cough and cold. His condition deteriorated and he tested positive for coronavirus. Then one by one another 17 members of my family including my wife, daughter, the other brother-in-law and my wife's mother tested positive," Gaikwad told PTI.
It was Rohit who was shifted to ICU first.
"On March 28, my wife's condition deteriorated. I had to run from pillar to post to get an ICU bed for her. She died on March 30. Rohit died on April 3, my mother-in-law succumbed on April 4 and my other brother-in-law Atul died three days ago," said Gaikwad in a choked voice.
It was a nightmarish situation, he said, as family members were struggling to get hospital beds and medicines for those who were ailing and at the same time making arrangements for the last rites of the deceased.
"Our whole family is now trying to come to terms with the loss," he said.
"I appeal people not to take this pandemic lightly. Follow the rules and take care of yourself and your family members," said Gaikwad.
Besides Mumbai, Pune is the worst-affected city in Maharashtra as the second wave of coronavirus has hit the state severely.
The city is reporting around 6,000 new cases daily for the last few days.