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Bhopal gas tragedy victims account for majority of Covid-19 deaths in the city, seek government intervention: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 23, 2020 Published on June 23, 2020

Bhopal gas tragedy survivors and their children account for nearly 80 per cent of the Covid-19 deaths in the city, according to reports.

An analysis by NGOs working for the survivors of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984, said 48 of the 60 patients who had died due to Covid-19 in the state capital till June 11 were victims of the gas leak tragedy.

Of these deaths, 74 per cent were survivors of the incident, while 5 per cent were children of survivors, The Hindu reported.

In a letter to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, survivors of the tragedy have sought government intervention, News18 reported.

Organisations representing the victims have also written to several state and Central Government officials previously. Two letters addressed to these officials dated March 21 and April 23, aimed to emphasise that the victims of the gas tragedy were more vulnerable to the virus.

Older victims, as well as young survivors, have succumbed to Covid-19, according to volunteers representing the victims, the report said.

According to NGOs, many suspected patients had been turned away despite the MP High Court order of April 21 directing the ICMR-run Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Centre to test gas victims, the report said.

The toxic methyl isocyanate released from the Union Carbide pesticide factory in the accident severely impacted the health of people living around the factory. Government statistics compiled after 1994 found that at least 1 lakh people living near the plant suffered respiratory and kidney issues, and cancer, Al Jazeera reported.

According to data compiled by eight community health centres of the BMHRC between 1998 and 2016, 50.4 per cent of survivors with health issues suffered from cardiovascular problems, 59.6 per cent from pulmonary problems and 15.6 per cent patients suffered from diabetes, the Hindu reported.

The Covid-19 count in Madhya Pradesh stands at 12,078, with casualties at 521, an official said on Monday as per media reports.

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Published on June 23, 2020
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