Turned away by multiple hospitals, the ex-Doordarshan DG Archana Datta lost her husband and mother from COVID-19. As the nation is left scrambling for hospital beds and oxygen cylinders for their near and dear ones who are infected by the virus, not even dignitaries at various positions are able to receive the medical care. This goes on to prove that the pandemic is an ultimate leveller that has left poor and elite hanging on the same thread.

Former Doordarshan Director General Archana Datta scrambled for hospital beds for her husband and her both. Her 69-year-old husband and her 90-year-old mother both were suffering from COVID-19. Unfortunately, she was turned down by hospitals and she lost both of them in the span of hours.

She took to Twitter to share her experience and her grief. Mrs. Datta wrote, “Many people like me perhaps thought that it couldn’t happen to them. But, it did happen. My mother and husband, both, died without any treatment. We failed to have access to all top notch Delhi hospitals we used to visit. Yes, after death they declared Covid positive.”

Went to Max Saket, Madhukar Hospital, Pt. Madan Mohan Hospital: Abhishek Datta, son of Archana Datta

Mrs. Archana Datta’s son Abhishek spoke to a reputed news platform and shared the experience he and her mother went through. Abhishek said how his father had mild symptoms and within the span of 48 hours it worsened. When that happened, he and her mother approached Max Saket. They tried to get a non-COVID-19 ward and a COVID-19 ward but were turned down.

After that they approached Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital to try and see if they could receive an emergency treatment. But to no avail they had to turn to PSRI hospital but were also turned down.

Abhishek took his father in a car to all these hospitals as they could not arrange an ambulance. Meanwhile while going from one hospital to other in a feeble attempt to get admission, Abhishek was noting how his father’s oxygen level was dropping below 40. Eventually when he arrived at Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, his father was declared dead.

Grandmother’s condition worsens, multiple hospitals approached to no avail

The same day, Abhishek’s grandmother and Mrs. Datta’s mother saw her condition getting deteriorated. They took her to National Heart Institute first as she was a heart patient and the hospital was aware of her medical history. But the hospital denied admitting her.

In a painful twist of fate, the Datta family arrived at the same hospital where Abhishek’s father was declared dead the same day. On arrival, the hospital declared her dead as well.

Meanwhile, Abhishek, his sister and their mother, former Doordarshan DG Archana are all suffering from COVID-19. In his interview, Abhishek said,

“We are monitoring our health at home and doing whatever we can indoors. If you step out to go to hospitals, you essentially step out to die… even though doctors and nurses are very dedicated, they can only do so much if they are stretched for resources. It is a complete collapse of the healthcare system,”

“Not been able to grieve for my mother and husband”: Archana Datta

Archana Datta is also a retired IAS officer and was quoted by the Press Trust of India saying, “I have not been able to grieve for my mother and husband. My niece is low on oxygen and my son has to run around for oxygen cylinders. We do not want to risk her life as we know that every hospital will turn us down.”

Mrs. Datta story is among hundreds and thousands of haunting stories unfolding across India. With states left gasping for air and Centre doing its part in vaccinating the large 1.3 billion population, there’s only one thing we at Shiksha News can advocate: Stay home, Double-mask up if you absolutely have to go out, and don’t lose hope.