Ventilators Transported in Garbage Trucks in India’s Surat City Raises Concern as COVID Cases Rise

The coronavirus situation is again de-railing in India with cases surging across the country. Delhi, along with four states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Gujarat – have emerged as the most infected regions.

As several cities in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat are reportedly facing a shortage of hospital ventilators, images of garbage trucks transporting breathing machines in Surat has gone viral on social media.

​In a bid to mitigate the shortage of ventilators in Surat, the state government of Gujarat sent 34 ventilators from Valsad to Surat, Indian media reported. However, it seems the only available form of transport was the garbage trucks.

Sharing pictures of the lorry carrying the machines, netizens criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and expressed concerns over the state’s readiness to tackle the second wave of the pandemic.

​Over the weekend, Rajkot city in Gujarat made the headlines after a community of goldsmiths offered gold nose pins and hand blenders to people to encourage them to get vaccinated. However, after pictures of inoculated people receiving the gifts hit social media, scores of Indians questioned if offering “bribes” to encourage vaccination was ethical.

On 5 April, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Gujarat breached the 3,000 mark for the first time this year.

India has reported 96,982 new Covid-19 cases and 446 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the Health Ministry, while 8,31,10,926 vaccinations have been administered in the country so far.  

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