13 out of 15 COVID-19 victims in Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, were survivors of the 1984 gas tragedy, which killed thousands of citizens and affected lakhs of others.
Speaking to ANI, Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, said that organisations working with these victims had apprehensions that the survivors would be badly affected by coronavirus. Dhingra said, “We had informed government on March 21 that if special attention was not given to the victims of the tragedy, then people would die. It is because most of the victims have problems related to lungs, kidney and heart.” Dhingra said.
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Dhingra added, “What’s shocking is that none of these people were provided their reports related to COVID-19 and all reporting was done after their deaths. This means that it was too late when they reached hospital and they died in less time.”
Bhopal Gas tragedy, which took place in 1984, is still considered to be the worst industrial disaster as over 5,00,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, emanating from Union Carbide India Limited Pesticide plant in the city. An official government estimate of the deaths due to the leak stands at 3,787.