Patients suffering from the coronavirus receive treatment inside the emergency ward at a hospital in New Delhi, India. File picture: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
Patients suffering from the coronavirus receive treatment inside the emergency ward at a hospital in New Delhi, India. File picture: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

’Take a deep breath, Dad’: son recounts last moments with father

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published May 6, 2021

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CAPE TOWN: “Never could I have imagined that one day, I would have to take my dad alone in an ambulance with three strange men from Gurgaon to Faridabad at 2am,” says 19-year-old Maulshree Pant, from Gurgaon in India.

With India now the global epicentre of the coronavirus, social media has become a place of solace for many and an outlet for those needing help to access hospital beds and medical oxygen.

Recounting his father’s last moments, Pant said he saw his father shaking on his hospital bed, gasping for breath and him saying to his father: “Deep breath, you're just panicking.”

Writing on Facebook, the 19-year-old said “I had to push away the dread and fear within me, look him straight in the eyes so casually as if nothing had happened while his oxygen level was at 35. Never could I have imagined my dad would die within a second by a cardiac arrest while I was sitting just outside the ICU after just being told his oxygen had become stable.”

“Never could I have imagined the first dead body I ever saw would be my dad's. Never could I have imagined he would leave us so early. He was 51 and I am 19, my brother is 13. He was not ready, I didn't prepare him. He must have been so scared when he took his last breath. I couldn't be there to say: ’Papa, you have nothing to worry about. You can go peacefully. We'll be fine.’ I just wish he was not scared ... but who am I kidding,” he said.

Covid-19 infections have surged by more than 300 000 cases for 15 straight days, pushing India’s tally past 21 million, and as of Thursday, India reported a record 412 262 new infections and 3 980 deaths.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, which was first found in India, has now been reported in more than a dozen countries.The variant is feared to be contributing to the increased number of infections.

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